If a report from The Athletic is believed to be true, Celtic are set to lose their teenage sensation Ben Doak who is closing in on a Liverpool move. The Scotland U17 international is rated highly back in his homeland and the Reds, keen on bolstering the academy ranks, have done enough to secure the services of the 16-year-old attacker.
Doak progressed through the Hoops academy ranks and became their second-youngest ever player (behind Jack Aitchison) after making his senior debut against Dundee back in January. He featured again as a second-half substitute in the Old Firm derby, but these minutes were not enough to keep hold of him with Liverpool knocking on the door for quite some time now.
The Celts, meanwhile, would only receive a minuscule development fee for their prized asset. They can’t offer him a professional contract before 17 and the youngster won’t wait beyond summer jeopardizing his high-profile switch.
A Blow For Celtic
Liverpool are shrewd in terms of their transfer strategy having roped in the likes of Kaide Gordon and Harvey Elliott in similar deals. However, the compensation fee within the country is higher than that of cross-border deals and thus the Bhoys have taken a hit, particularly after Ange Postecoglou’s words following his first-team debut (as quoted by the Daily Mail).
“He’s a fantastic kid who comes from a good family. He looked really composed for his age. He’ll have grown up a bit today, it will give him a different perspective on life. He probably would have been on the other side of the terracing if he hadn’t been playing!”
Doak, predominantly a wing-forward, is also capable of operating as a ‘number 10’ or attacking playmaker. He has been in majestic form all season with Celtic reserves and a move to Liverpool should see him grow his game before staking a claim in Jurgen Klopp’s long-term plans.
Besides Doak, the Hoops are also sweating over the future of Karamoko Dembele who has entered the final six months of his Parkhead contract. The 19-year-old England international had his progress disrupted by an ankle injury suffered last year, but he is now back in first-team action overcoming the long layoff.
Although the young Scotsman could have had a quicker path to senior football at his boyhood side, a club of Liverpool’s stature is too big to turn down given their enormous success under Klopp. It remains to be seen how he attunes to the demands of the English game and shines enough to grab the German’s attention at Kirkby.