Jurgen Klopp labels former Celtic academy boy ‘the present and future of Scotland’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on former Celtic academy player Ben Doak, calling the 17-year-old “The present and future of Scotland”.

The Ayrshire teenager made his debut at just 16 years of age for Celtic on 29 January 2022 as the Hoops beat Dundee United 1-0 at Celtic Park with a crucial late winner from Liel Abada.

That goal set up the chance for Ange Postecoglou’s side to go top of the league in the next match against theRangers and Abada was on the scoresheet again alongside Reo Hatate who scored twice in a 3-0 win and once again Doak made an appearance from the bench for Celtic.

Ben Doak celebrates with his Celtic teammates after the 3-0 win over theRangers

Doak then left Celtic in July 2022, rejecting a contract offer from the club and opting to move to Merseyside, where the chance to work for the charismatic German manager was a crucial factor in his decision.

The Scottish u21 international made his debut for Liverpool in December of last year as he came off the bench in Liverpool’s 3-1 win against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Doak scored four goals and registered two assists across 13 games in the Premier League 2 last season, with the player also scoring four goals and contributing four assists across eight games in the UEFA Youth League as well.

Klopp has high hopes for the former Celt, saying the following about the 17-year-old in May of this year.

“He’s with us in training again, special boy. Really confident, has something nobody else delivers.

“This kind of dribbling, this kind of straight-forward bravery, all these kind of things. Technically really good, high speed, super-promising.”

Ben Doak of Liverpool celebrates scoring Liverpool’s third goal from the penalty spot at AXA Training Centre on August 13, 2022 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Doak will look to garner further opportunities in the Liverpool first team this season in what has been an extremely successful move for the player, and by day it seems the move is an extremely disappointing outcome for Celtic.

Liverpool are currently in Germany on pre-season training duties and yesterday played their first match in the process and yet again Klopp was singing the praises of Doak. Liverpool beat German second-tier outfit Karlsruher 4-2 and afterwards their manager had this to say, as reported by Daily Record.

Karlsruher SC v Liverpool FC – Pre-Season Friendly  Ben Doak of Liverpool controls the ball during the pre-season friendly match between Karlsruher SC and Liverpool FC at BBBank Wildparkstadion on July 19, 2023 . (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

“Ben Doak, oh my God, it’s much fun to watch these kids. Calum I’ve known him only nine days, he was injured before and now he was there. Koumas came on, Conor Bradley really good.

“The kids are really good and the others are really good already, we know that. Some of them might need to get through little holes here and then now because it’s really tough for them of course.”

James French

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