Liverpool may have next Raheem Sterling in Ben Doak after blowing Klopp away

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool future assessed | Football Digest

Liverpool could well have another Raheem Sterling in their ranks as Jurgen Klopp is set to be given a selection headache due to the performances of youngster Ben Doak. The 17-year-old is making waves at Anfield after some impressive performances in pre-season and the starlet looks primed to make an impact in the Premier League and cup competitions this season, with Klopp speaking in glowing terms about his progress.

Doak enjoyed his time in the limelight during the international break after appearing for Scotland Under-21s, playing 77 minutes in their 1-0 defeat to Spain. Ahead of his return to Anfield this week, the attacker will be chomping at the bit to get a chance for some first-minutes under Klopp.

Doak was brought in from Scottish champions Celtic in 2021, and while he probably expected to develop for a few years in the academy, the Glaswegian has made a huge impression. In that sense, he has quickly morphed into Liverpool’s next Sterling, given how he arrived from QPR and it soon became clear he was good enough for the senior team.

With Doak, it is very much the same case. In pre-season, he scored a fine header and wreaked havoc in a 4-0 drubbing of Leicester, with Klopp paying tribute to his ‘special’ quartet of Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister and Doak. Then he was given a brief 13-minute cameo against Chelsea as Klopp tried to find a winner, but it finished 0-0.

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Having already made his debut, Doak is now a regular name on the bench for Liverpool and it would be no surprise to see him starting in the Europa League group stages against the likes of LASK Linz and Toulouse.

There is no doubt he remains a raw talent, but Klopp’s nurturing presence means he should be able to chisel him into a fine player. His pace and work rate will allow him to fit seamlessly into his plans, giving Klopp a potential long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah when he eventually finishes his career.

And the German has already addressed his qualities with his own gushing praise for the Scot.

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“Ben Doak, obviously nice signs, he’s with us in training again,” said Klopp earlier this summer, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“[He is a] special boy, really confident, has something nobody else delivers really. This kind of dribbling, this kind of straight-forward bravery… all these kind of things.”

Sterling broke into the team under Brendan Rodgers during the 2012-13 season and, while he only scored twice in 36 appearances, his displays were enough to convince Liverpool they had a future star amongst their ranks. He went on to score a further 21 goals in 90 games before joining Manchester City in a £50million transfer.

Times have changed since then, with Liverpool the closest challenger to City over the past five years. With Doak, they may be able to fight them again for the right to be called Premier League champions – but only if they managed to keep him out of Pep Guardiola’s crosshairs.

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