James Pearce summed up how most Liverpool fans must be feeling about Ben Doak ahead of the upcoming clash with LASK this evening.
The Merseysiders are set to take on the Austrian Bundesliga-based outfit at the Raiffeisen Arena and the ‘special’ 17-year-old is, one might reasonably imagine, almost certain to play a major part in that fixture.
“Doak is special. He lit up the UEFA Youth League last season and showed flashes of his brilliance when Klopp elevated him to the first-team setup,” the reporter wrote for The Athletic.
“He already has six senior appearances under his belt but expect that number to grow during the Europa League group stage.
“Doak has the perfect mentor in Mohamed Salah and I’m excited about watching the teenager flying down that right flank on Thursday nights over the next few months. He’s fearless and more than holds his own physically. I love how he keeps demanding the ball and is so positive and direct when he gets in.”
The Scot has only featured once for Jurgen Klopp this season – in a brief cameo at Stamford Bridge right at the start of the campaign – having amassed five prior senior appearances spread across the Premier League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup in 2022/23
What better opportunity to clinch his seventh outing for Liverpool, and perhaps a first start, than in our opening Europa League clash?
Those less well-versed in matters beyond our general first-XI may wonder what all the fuss is about when it comes to our exciting young prodigy, but the truth is that the hype building up around Doak is well-deserved.
At 17 years of age, of course, this will be a talent we’ll need to carefully nurture, lest we wish to repeat the mistakes that were made with Stefan Bajcetic last term.
Nonetheless, we’d be mightily surprised if the teenager didn’t manage to at least double his current appearances by the season’s halfway point.