Wonderkid Central Part IV: Ben Doak – The Scottish “Scouser” soaring through the ranks

Vatsal Gupta
By Vatsal Gupta
6 Min Read

In a single season, his first, he had appearances for the U18 side, the U23 side, and the senior side. Ben Doak is in a hurry to make his mark at Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp has been very obliging. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Doak has personified this quote throughout his short career, making senior appearances for not one, but two European giants before even turning 17.

So, who is Ben Doak, and why are Liverpool supporters enamoured with him? Here’s all you need to know –

Who is Ben Doak?

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Ben Doak is a 17-year-old right-footed forward who joined Liverpool from Celtic at the start of last season. He prefers to play on the right wing but is equally as comfortable playing behind the striker in a No 10 role. He holds the record for the youngest Scottish player to ever play for Liverpool, making his debut as a 17-year-old against Aston Villa on December 26, 2022.

By then, he had already made his first-team bow for the club, coming on from the bench as a 16-year-old during the third round of the Carabao Cup against Derby County on November 9, 2022.

Going further back, his maiden senior appearance came just a few months after turning 16, when he played for Celtic as a 68th minutes sub against Dundee United on January 29, 2022.

He had started catching the eye of European elites when he was making his Celtic breakthrough. Liverpool were the first to act, securing his services for just a compensation fee of £600k, as the player hadn’t signed a professional contract with the Scottish giants.


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When a player makes an appearance for every professional team in a club in a single season, it becomes difficult to put his stats into context. However, it is clear that he bossed every level of the game before being given a chance with the senior team at Anfield.

Starting off his career with the U18s, the Scottish was unfazed by his new surroundings.

In just 400 minutes of football across five appearances, he notched two goals and two assists. Four goals and four assists in 623 minutes in UEFA Youth League proved that he was already way too good to remain with the U18s.

Consequently, he was given a full-time promotion to the U23s. Again, that level proved to be easy for him.

In just 13 appearances, totalling 923 minutes, he scored four goals and notched two assists, also scoring on his EFL Trophy debut despite playing just 22 minutes.

Doak wasn’t just knocking on the door, he was blasting straight through it.

He ended the season having already made five appearances for the senior side. Klopp gave him a taste of action as he totalled 60 minutes across those games.

One can expect that total to soar significantly next season.

Style of play

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Ben Doak is a livewire with the ball at his feet. As a right-footed right winger, the natural instinct is to go outside to the byline and cross it in. However, defending him is a nightmare because he is no slouch with his left foot either.

He combines elite trickery and dribbling skills with blistering pace to leave defenders in the dust. He likes to stay wide in spaces and stretch the game with his pace.

Furthermore, his game doesn’t just rely on out-speeding the opponent, he is equally as comfortable outsmarting them. He has a natural ability to do feints and beat his man off of his shiftiness and agility.

The ball sticks to his feet like glue and the way he uses his centre of gravity to burst past opponents reminds one of Eden Hazard during his Chelsea days.

Also read: Wonderkid central part III: Tyler Dibling- The boy who followed his heart

His calmness to carry the ball to dangerous positions and then make the right decision to result in a chance created is already beyond his tender age. It can be seen in his raw goals and assists numbers.

He has an element of fearlessness in his game that separates good prospects from elite ones. Naturally, a player with his ability and skills gets fouled a lot but it is never a deterrent for him. The next time he picks up the ball after getting tackles, he is again off on a mazy run.

He couldn’t get better mentors to learn from than Mohamed Salah and Co. One should expect that will more time under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage, Ben Doak will become a household name, and the stuff of nightmares for Premier League defenders.

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