It was in the EFL Trophy when Ben Doak took his next steps with Liverpool back in October.
Having impressed for both the Under-18s and Under-19s after joining from Celtic in a £600k deal last summer, a trip to Accrington Stanley was the winger’s first taste of men’s football since moving to Anfield. Come the final whistle, it was very much clear it would not be the last.
Liverpool Under-21s were already eliminated heading into their final group game at the Wham Stadium, with a 2-0 deficit being extended to three within two minutes of Doak being brought on in the 68th minute. Yet the then 16-year-old would still make it a night to remember as he made it 3-2 in stoppage after Calvin Ramsay had scored moments earlier.
A first start for Barry Lewtas’ side followed days later, as Doak scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Everton Under-21s. Fast forward little over a fortnight and Jurgen Klopp was handed the winger his first-team debut off the bench in the League Cup against Derby County, before the teenager was handed his first professional debut after celebrating his 17th birthday later that week.
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Doak finished last season with five appearances for Klopp’s first team, including two Premier League outings. Meanwhile, if you combine his appearances in Premier League 2, EFL Trophy, UEFA Youth League and U18 Premier League, he returned 11 goals and eight assists from 27 outings at academy level.
Scoring in his first two appearances at Under-18s level, against Middlesbrough and Leeds United, Doak’s stay with Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side would last just fiveRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk