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'It's absolutely cool' - Klopp heaps praise on Liverpool youngsters Doak, Bajcetic & Clark following victory over AC Milan

21:27 WAT 16/12/2022
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2022-23
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left impressed by the displays of youngsters Ben Doak, Stefan Bajcetic and Bobby Clark in the win over AC Milan.
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WHAT HAPPENED? With the return of Premier League football just around the corner, the Reds took on the Italian club in a friendly and claimed a 4-1 victory thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Thiago Alcantara, and a brace from Darwin Nunez. Bajcetic started the game while both Doak and Clarke got minutes off the bench and clearly caught the eye with assists towards the end of the game.

WHAT THEY SAID: "When you bring on the kids [in the] second half and you see the pass from Bobby Clark and the whole performance from Stefan, the performance from Mel [Frauendorf] as a right full-back and then Ben Doak comes on, 16 years old, and is this kind of natural force, it's really cool to see. In these 10, 11 days, the kids especially, everybody made a real step forward. That's why these things are so important, that we can involve them. And in general, tonight was the result of the last 10 days what we saw in training and tonight we could bring it on the pitch, which is obviously nice."

He continued: "It's absolutely cool. I'm not sure the Academy could watch the game tonight but when you see these boys and performing in a game like this, it's cool. It's a real physical game, adult football is a physical game and the boys need to make these steps [so] they can get ready for it step by step. How I said, the physical part will come but until you are not that strong, you can create a lot of ideas, you can do things a bit smarter. And when you see what Bobby did with the pass for Darwin... and then Darwin scores twice, so really nice obviously."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Still only 18 years of age, midfielder Bajcetic has featured three times off the bench in the Champions League this season, and once in the league. 17-year-old Doak made his debut in the Carabao Cup earlier this season, while Clark (17) also played in that game and made his Premier League debut in the 9-0 win over Bournemouth.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? It seems unlikely that any of the trio will get regular minutes for the Reds in the remainder of the season but they'll all hope to get the occasional chance off the bench in certain matches.