What Jurgen Klopp said to Ben Doak after meeting 'Scottish Wayne Rooney' for first time

Jürgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool speaks with Ben Doak after the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield on September 27, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

Liverpool youngster Ben Doak has been included in Scotland’s provisional squad for the European Championship in Germany this summer. Manager Steve Clarke has selected 28 players, though he will only be permitted to take 26 of them to Euro 2024.

Having last played for the Reds against Union SG back in December because of injury, Doak could yet be a candidate to be cut from Clarke’s squad, which must be trimmed down to 26 to meet UEFA regulations. He is yet to score or provide an assist at senior level, drawing a blank across his 10 Liverpool appearances to date, but is a huge talent to keep an eye out for.

And it’s clear the Scotland manager is a fan of the 18-year-old. He is not alone either, with Jürgen Klopp having also voiced his approval of 'the Scottish Wayne Rooney' a nickname given to him by his own representative — on more than one occasion in the past.

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He demonstrated as much before the young winger had even joined the Reds. Doak’s agent, former Celtic defender Jackie McNamara, revealed this when speaking to the BBC Scotland in 2022. "When Ben went down to visit Liverpool, Klopp said: 'Ah Ben, I've seen your stuff’,” he revealed. "Straight away he was made to feel really welcome,” McNamara added, shining more light on Klopp’s personality and powers of man-management.

The German also spoke kindly of Doak in May 2023. “He’s with us in training again, special boy. Really confident, has something nobody else delivers,” Klopp said (via Celtic Star). “This kind of dribbling, this kind of straightforward bravery, all these kind of things. Technically really good, high speed, super-promising.”

Doak then impressed the then-Liverpool manager last summer. The Reds began their pre-season program with a 4-2 friendly win over Karlsruher SC, with the Scottish youngster playing the entirety of the second half. “Ben Doak, oh my God, it’s much fun to watch these kids," Klopp said after the match (via the Mirror).

He later highlighted that Liverpool should’ve made better use of the young talent in its 3-1 win Europa League victory at LASK in September. "If we could have used Ben Doak a little more often, give him the ball a little more, then he could have had more even times on the touchline to cause problems," was Klopp’s verdict (via the Mirror).

While the previous Liverpool manager rarely had a bad word for any of his players, he didn’t need to praise Doak so highly or so often. The fact he did says everything about the quality of a starlet who is surely destined to reach the very top of the sport. says: Klopp wouldn't have made all of those positive comments for the sake of it. He knows how to motivate players and speaks from the heart too. It will be fascinating to watch the next stage of Doak's career, under the tutelage of Arne Slot.