Report: Liverpool secure Ben Doak signing from Celtic; fee and the other club rejected

By Euan Davidson

March 31, 2022

Liverpool have completed the signing of Celtic Academy product Ben Doak, who rejected a better offer at Leeds United, according to a report.

The Athletic state that Liverpool will pay “around £600,000” for Doak, who having just turned 16, made his debut for Celtic this season. Doak has been a revelation this season, for both Celtic and Scotland U17s. Earlier this week, he scored a hat-trick for the Tartan Army’s U17s team.

In terms of his Celtic future, Doak looked to be on the cusp of a real breakthrough. His appearance against Rangers in 3-0 suggested he was being primed for first-team involvement on a regular basis. However, once interest from England emerged, his playing time under Postecoglou was wiped out.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Leeds United, the report states, offered Doak improved terms. The Yorkshire club have already snatched a Celtic talent away, in the form of former Bhoys defender Leo Hjelde, another Celtic talent tipped for big things.

Doak won’t be able to play in the Liverpool Academy teams until next season, owing to registration issues.

According to the report, Liverpool’s emphasis on promoting youth talent was what swung it for Ben Doak. The examples of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones prove ample evidence of Jurgen Klopp’s ability to develop talent.

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A massive opportunity at Liverpool for Ben Doak, but this one will sting for Celtic

This is a blow for Celtic. Ben Doak looks set to be a superstar, and Liverpool will benefit, not us.

Already impressing in the Scotland youth set-up, Doak looked confident and skilful in his brief appearances for Celtic. Clearly, Ange Postecoglou would’ve wanted him long-term, if he had the inclination to stay.

At 16, it’s a huge choice to make. But there’ll be a tendency to have a pop at Ben Doak here. Let’s not do that.

The kid is a 16-year-old. He’s been given an opportunity to play for a recent Champions League and Premier League winner. While Liverpool have a policy of not offering daft wages for young players, it’s still a big deal for his family. He hadn’t signed professional terms at Celtic yet, and who knows whether that was imminently forthcoming.

Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

It’s disappointing, but there’s not necessarily a goodie or baddie in this story. We’ve seen other talents like Josh Adam, Barry Hepburn, Liam Morrison and Liam Hughes leave for Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Liverpool respectively.

It’s because they have better facilities, and more finances to support not just a player, but their families. It’s hard to compete with that.

What can Celtic do to hold on to talents? Well, Barrowfield and Lennoxtown are a fair distance apart, it’s difficult for these kids to imagine playing for the first-team. Especially when the first-team coaches can’t see how well they’re training or playing.

Investment at youth level needs to be valued. Are young players having to pay themselves to get to games and training? What about equipment, schooling and all the rest?

Clearly, there are factors at play here. Whatever the case may be long-term, in the short-term, Celtic have lost a talented player. Liverpool will see the best of Ben Doak, and no doubt about it.

Read more: The unwanted historic record Ange Postecoglou has to avoid with Celtic on Sunday