Liverpool U18’s coach Jay Spearing has raved about the progress made by first-team youngster Ben Doak.
Speaking with the club’s official website for his Academy column, the former Reds midfielder lavished praise on the 17-year-old, claiming he is more than deserving of his opportunity with Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
“At the end of the day, our main job is to develop players so they can eventually challenge for a place in the first team,” Spearing said. “So, we are going in the right direction with the likes of Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak doing so well up there.
“Ben was in our team at the start of the season, and he was absolutely flying. He has made rapid progress and he is a great kid. We want to get players moving up the ladder and Ben has done that, playing for the U21’s and then getting his first-team opportunity.
“Ben has got his head down, he works so hard, and he has got a great mentality. That drive and desire the boy has, it’s no sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇ to us he has done so well. Fingers crossed, he can keep it going and keep getting better because the lad has a lot of ability.”
Spearing raves about Doak’s progress
The teenager is certainly one of the most exciting young talents currently emerging out of the Kirkby academy.
At just 17-years-old, the attacker has already made five appearances for the first-team, including two cameos in the Premier League.
The U21 Scotland international has been most impressive for the seniors, clearly unfazed by the step-up in competition.
Besides Mohamed Salah, Liverpool have a lack of options on the right-wing.
Therefore, if he can continue to great work behind the scenes, Doak will likely see an increase in his minutes on the Anfield pitch.
While Klopp won’t want to ʙᴜʀɴ him out, if the 17-year-old can keep developing at the same rate, the club will have a serious prospect on their hands in the next couple of years.
Liverpool’s five transfer star shortlist as Jurgen Klopp faces Jude Bellingham conundrum
In preparation for the summer transfer window, Liverpool has a number of different midfielders on their priority list.
Liverpool is facing a crucial summer transfer window as they look to rebuild an ailing midfield, and it’s possible that they won’t have the necessary finances or the allure of playing in the Champions League. It will be difficult for the out-of-form Reds to finish in the top four, and they may have to win this year’s continental competition in order to be eligible to participate in it the following year.
It is anticipated that the remainder of the season will play a significant role in determining whether or not Liverpool will be able to sign their major targets. Cody Gakpo was one of them, but Jurgen Klopp and company moved quickly to sign him last month despite competition from Manchester United. This is similar to what they did with their interest in Luis Diaz twelve months earlier.
Gakpo came to Liverpool from PSV in a deal worth £37 million, and he has the potential to be Roberto Firmino’s long-term successor. However, despite the ғᴀᴄᴛ that the Brazilian will be a free agent at the conclusion of the current campaign, he still has a chance to sign a new contract that will lengthen the amount of time he spends on Merseyside.
Despite the ғᴀᴄᴛ that Liverpool’s defense has had a rough season, sporting director Julian Ward and manager Jurgen Klopp will be putting their attention on the team’s midfield. It is common knowledge that Jude Bellingham is their primary focus at this time.
The midfielder from Borussia Dortmund is desired by a number of clubs, but as things stand, the competition for Bellingham is anticipated to be among Liverpool, City, and Real Madrid. However, if Liverpool are unable to qualify for the Champions League, it could be problematic for them to continue their pursuit of the 19-year-old England international player.
This is due to the ғᴀᴄᴛ that any deal is anticipated to incur a club-record transfer fee, which is expected to be in excess of £100 million, and he would most likely command starting wages of approximately £150,000 per week to begin with. That brings the grand total of a deal lasting five years up to close to 150 million pounds.
However, because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Naby Keita are all expected to leave the club for free in the summer, Jurgen Klopp may need to bring in three new midfielders. Despite having just joined the Midlands club in the summer of 2018, Matheus Nunes of Wolves seems likely to be one of the additions at a little over £40 million.
If Liverpool want to sign Bellingham, however, their ability to do business may be constrained because they do not participate in the highest level of European football. If the Reds were to back out of a deal to acquire the Englishman, they would have the financial flexibility to sign a larger roster of players. Instead, it seems likely that their ideal plan is to sign Bellingham and Nunes – unless a takeover occurs before the summer – and that this will likely be the case.
The ᴘᴜʀᴄʜᴀsᴇ of the pair without money from the Champions League would make it difficult to sign any other targets, such as Mason Mount from Chelsea, who might become available if he is unable to reach an agreement on a new contract with the Blues, or Moises Caicedo from Brighton. Even more so when one considers that Liverpool only has a small handful of players like Caoimhin Kelleher and Joel Matip that they could sell for significant sums of money this year.
According to Goal, there is growing chatter within Liverpool about the possibility that Matip could be moved elsewhere, in which case the club would need to find a new center back. Evan Ndicka, a former target of Arsenal who is set to leave Eintracht Frankfurt for free, could be the ideal low-cost replacement for Joel Matip if he leaves the club. Ndicka is only 23 years old.
CBS Sports has reported that Liverpool are keeping tabs on the Frenchman, who has never missed a game for the team that currently holds the Europa League title. However, there are a large number of other clubs that are keeping tabs on him and could provide him with guaranteed playing time. Under Klopp, however, he would initially serve as a backup option. This presents a potential problem.
If it doesn’t work out with Ndicka, Liverpool has long had their eye on Braga’s David Carmo, who has a release clause of £34 million. In other news, Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap and Duje Caleta-Car could become available if their team is demoted to the Championship.