Klopp could unleash 'incredible' 17-year-old likened to Sterling for Liverpool v Man City, fans should be excited - TBR View
Liverpool return to competitive action post-World Cup with the latest instalment of the battle against fellow Premier League powerhouses Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds head to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night to face Pep Guardiola’s charges in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool needed penalties to overcome Derby County in the last round, while City got the better of Chelsea to advance.
Klopp has never shied away from playing Reds youngsters in cup competitions, and Thursday night could bring more of the same.
Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders spoke highly of three Liverpool academy stars at the Reds’ pre-match press conference.
‘Combination of speed, mentality and technique’
He saved the highest praise for Ben Doak, a 17-year-old forward who has been making waves in the academy.
“Yesterday I walked off the pitch, we trained. The session was insane, it was really cool, and I walked off the pitch with Jurgen [Klopp],” Lijnders said, via YouTube.
“He says to me: ‘Wow! Stefan [Bajcetic] and Bobby Clarke – they place so mature. They play as if they’re 25.’
“And Ben Doak. Can you imagine if he was a signing? If you do this, what he’s doing in the session, because you’ll see he’s very quick. If you’re very quick and technical, that makes a really dangerous player.
“He learns as well really quick.
“It’s really nice to see because sometimes you can be really quick, really good with your feet.
“But if you don’t learn teamwork – as I just said, you need good players – but a collective in the end makes you successful.
“But he adapts really quickly to our style. We are just really happy with three young signings…
“We want to give these boys chances. Ben is just, I like that combination of speed, mentality and technique – and he has all three.”
Described by James Milner as having ‘absolutely incredible’ abilities, Doak is one of Liverpool’s most exciting youngsters.
Liverpool agreed a £600,000 fee with Celtic for Doak in March, and he’s already playing for the Under-21s.
The youngster has netted eight times and provided six assists across his 16 appearances for Liverpool’s youth teams.
In addition, Doak made his senior debut not long ago, featuring against Derby in the Carabao Cup.
He has been making such a name for himself that BBC Sport recently published an in-depth feature article about him.
They note how comparisons have been made between the Liverpool ace and the likes of Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling.
Based on Lijnders’ comments on Doak, there’s a good chance he could feature against City.
Liverpool fans should be excited to see more of this wonderkid in action. And if he helps take down Guardiola’s side, there’ll be many more people talking about him.