Scouts from a Premier League side have watched a Liverpool star who only just signed on the dotted line, and the details of a proposed January approach have emerged, per a report.
Liverpool fans entered the World Cup break with renewed hope they’ll see a surge in the second half of the season. The Reds won their last two league fixtures to claw the gap to fourth down to seven points.
They also survived a penalty shoot-out in the EFL Cup Third Round against Derby County. Back-up stopper Caoimhin Kelleher saved three spot-kicks to once again provide a reminder how important he is to the squad at large.
Another player who made a statement in that fixture was Scotland youth international, Ben Doak.
The lively right winger was poached from Celtic over the summer and made his Liverpool debut when coming off the bench in the 74th minute against the Rams.
Doak was still aged 16 at the time, though his tender age didn’t prevent him from making a big impression. Indeed, his pace, tenacity and directness all caught the eye.
He turned 17 two days later on November 11 and duly signed his first professional contract with the Reds. However, according to NottinghamshireLive, a January exit could await.
Nottingham Forest eyeing Liverpool raid
They report Nottingham Forest are preparing another bumper influx of arrivals in the winter window and Doak is on their radar. A loan deal – presumably for six months – is being considered.
Doak may fancy his chances of breaking into the Forest eleven. Indeed, he’s already featuring at Scotland Under-21 level despite only turning 17 one week ago.
During their recent clash against Iceland’s Under-21s. Doak bagged an assist during another stand-out display. BBC Scotland’s commentary team noted Nottingham Forest scouts were in attendance during the broadcast.
In Liverpool’s UEFA Youth League campaign which mirrors the senior team’s Champions League group stage, Doak bagged four goals and four assists in six outings. He also made Liverpool’s bench for their last Premier League match against Southampton.
Clearly, he’s a player who won’t settle for playing in the youth ranks for very long. If Forest do lodge an approach, Klopp will have a decision to make.
Loan exit must be carefully considered
Doak could be retained as an impact player off the bench. Liverpool will expect to go deep in four competitions again this season and strength in depth will be vital.
The Reds lost Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino last summer and only replaced the pair with the single addition of Fabio Carvalho. Darwin Nunez took Sadio Mane’s spot in the squad.
However, Doak’s first-team minutes may dry up completely once Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz return to full fitness.
Diaz is expected to feature in the club’s warm-weather training camp in the UAE during the World Cup break. The latest on Jota suggested he may not return until February.
The most important thing for a player of Doak’s age is competitive minutes on the pitch.
A move to Forest could appeal to Klopp and co. though the deal would serve no purpose if Doak couldn’t displace the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White, Jesse Lingard and Brennan Johnson in the forward line.
Clearly, any such move by Forest in January will require careful consideration from Liverpool.