There are many phrases to describe Ben Doak, Liverpool’s 17-year-old Scottish prodigy tipped for a huge future, but let’s give the floor to the manager and captain. ‘Ben’s a special boy,’ said Jurgen Klopp this summer. ‘He’s like a Tasmanian Devil,’ added Virgil Van Dijk.
As Liverpool embark on an unwanted Europa League campaign, Doak is one of several blessings in disguise to come from Thursday jaunts to rogue destinations, starting on Thursday with a trip to Linz, a city which straddles the Danube River midway between Vienna and Salzburg.
Those outside the Merseyside bubble might not know much about Doak, other than perhaps remembering he was the young lad going in the opposite direction as Mo Salah threw a temper tantrum when substituted on the Premier League opening weekend at Stamford Bridge.
With the game at 1-1 against Chelsea, Klopp ditched his star man and threw on the new ace in his pack, Doak. He joins just Michael Owen as players to feature for Liverpool in the first week of a Premier League season before turning 18. Many fans have used the Owen comparison.
The direct and pacey right winger made his debut on Boxing Day last year against Aston Villa. ‘I remember when he came on against Villa away last year, and he did that stepover and went past the full back,’ said captain Van Dijk after a pre-season friendly in Preston last month.
‘He’s very exciting, very direct, one-on-one. I call him a Tasmanian Devil with the way he is buzzing around, he’s just so quick. If his decision making gets better - and he has all the time in the world for that - then he could definitely be one for the future.’
Doak, whose agent is former Celtic star Jackie McNamara, dazzled in the humidity of Singapore during a pre-season tour andRead on m.allfootballapp.com