Whisper it, but Liverpool may just have their long-term Mohamed Salah replacement already.
As Saudi-accelerated talk of succession planning for the Reds’ right flank heats up, Ben Doak put in the kind of performance that made many think he could one day develop into a serious player for Liverpool.
Scotland Under-21s may have lost 1-0 to their Spanish counterparts on Monday night in Jaen, but it was 17-year-old Doak who stole the show in the Under-21 Euro 2025 qualifier.
The former Celtic youngster was making only his first start for Scott Gemmill’s Under-21s but looked like the most seasoned player in the pitch, twisting and turning defenders inside out at will.
At one point early in the game, Doak – who was played as a lone centre-forward – received a short corner and jinked his way past a defender on the touchline before forcing a a save from a rifled effort on the angle.
Afterwards, Gemmill praised the Liverpool starlet, but warned there’s even more to come once he starts getting more minutes at club level.
He said: “It was an exceptional performance from Ben Doak. I would even add that’s there’s more to come from him.
“He’s not fully match fit at the moment because of his limited minutes as he is playing for such a good club. Imagine a fully-fit Ben Doak!”
Understandably, the display got Liverpool fans very excited…
Spanish terrified of Doak every time he’s on ball, wriggled away from men with footwork and simply handed away defenders.
For that, best moment might be battling to win corner from a complete lost cause followed by outpour of emotion that rallied and amped Scotland. So good.
— Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021) September 11, 2023
Ben Doak what a player man! He dribbles those Spanish players like they are statues. Absolute phenomenal talent he is. Can’t believe we have this guy! pic.twitter.com/gcXvtNuiu1
— Zayn (@pant_peak) September 11, 2023
17-year-old Ben Doak, showing his ability tonight against Spain u21s.
Dribbling is top level.
Liverpool scouts did well finding him pic.twitter.com/O7UPctPLGp
— TheSecretScout (@TheSecretScout_) September 11, 2023
At one point in the first half Doak even received a round of applause from the home support, while Spanish fans online also stopped to take notice of the young star.
One wrote: “Electricity, self-confidence, ball retention and the ability to fall to the side and create danger. The best player of the game, honestly. Looking forward to seeing him in the Premier League with Liverpool.”
Another enthused: “Liverpool have with Ben Doak, what a diamond, 17 years old and pure fire!!!”
Ben Doak. Electricidad, desparpajo, retención de balón y con capacidad para caer al costado y generar peligro. El mejor del partido, sinceramente. Ganas de verle en contexto Premier con el Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/2Mw1WUUIcY
— Jonay Amaro (@AmaroJonay) September 11, 2023
Nos está haciendo mucho daño Ben Doak (05)
Ya en el Liverpool de lo que le he podido ver ha dejado detalles de muchísimo nivel.
Tenemos que frenarle sino queremos encajar.
— Talentos Españoles (@talento20Espano) September 11, 2023
Que pedazo de futbolista tiene la selección Escocesa y el Liverpool con Ben Doak, vaya diamante, 17 años y es puro fuego!!!
— David Angulo (@DavidAngulo89) September 11, 2023
Doak, who doesn’t turn 18 until November, has made one substitute appearance for the Liverpool first-team this season, coming off the bench in the Reds’ Premier League opener against Chelsea.
He is expected to get plenty of minutes in the Europa League and domestic cups this season, while building on his five outings in all competitions in 2022/23.