Josh Doig: The Scottish left back making a mark in Serie A by Calum Scullion
Name: Josh Doig
Place of birth: Edinburgh
Club: Hellas Verona
Position: Left back
Italy’s Serie A has become a go-to league for young Scottish players over the last couple of seasons. Liam Henderson moved to Bari in 2018 and broke the trend of Scottish players mainly only moving to England, he has played in Italy ever since and is now a regular in the Empoli midfield. The last two seasons has seen more young Scottish talents follow Henderson to Italy, Aaron Hickey moved to Bologna in 2020 and he really impressed, he is now playing for Brentford in the premier league, Lewis Ferguson also made the move to Bologna and he is enjoying a relatively successful first season in Serie A. I’d like to talk about one of the most exciting young Scottish players right now and a player that has gained a lot of interest since his move to Italy, Josh Doig.
Josh Doig was born in Edinburgh on the 18th of May 2002. His youth career started in the Hearts academy before making a move to Edinburgh rivals Hibernian. Josh made his Hibs debut on the 1st of August 2020 against Kilmarnock, he went on to make 35 appearances in all competitions that season, scoring 1 goal and providing 4 assists. In 21/22 he made 42 appearances for Hibs, getting 3 assists.
Doig was gaining interest from teams around Europe and in the summer of 2022 he made a move to Hellas Verona, he made 22 appearances last season for Verona, scoring 2 goals and providing 4 assists.
Josh Doig is a pretty modern left back, he looks to get forward and help out in the midfield and attacking areas and he can get up and down the pitch well. He is a competent passer, he could keep it simple and play inwards to the midfield and also showed the ability to play forward, line breaking passes up the line to the wingers/attacking players. He showed glimpses of quality when dribbling with the ball, he drove forward and got into crossing areas, however his crossing was pretty inconsistent and inaccurate, some of them were good but more often than not he failed to find a teammate so that is something he definitely needs to work on.
Off the ball Doig made good runs out wide, he would often over or underlap and look to get high up the pitch and into an attacking area where can try and create a chance for his team.
Defensively his main strengths were his ability to cut out passes and intercept dangerous balls, especially out wide and in the defensive areas of the pitch he was very good at stopping his opponents from getting the ball into the box. Also Doig showed good aerial ability, he won most of his headers and aerial duels and didn’t struggle when up against a taller opponent.
He tracks his opponent well and looks to get tight and put a challenge in, however this sometimes led to him being dragged out of position and left a lot of space for attackers to get into. Another weakness I noticed is his timing, at times he commits to a tackle too early or too late and it either leads to him committing a foul or his opponent skipping past him so he definitely needs to try and improve his timing when it comes to tackles.
The only other thing I noticed is that he seems to drift centrally quite a lot during transitions or when his team have started an attack, this meant that the opposing teams attacking players had the whole left side to run into and get into an attacking position and it could lead to him being caught out in counter attack situations.
Overall evaluation and career future:
Josh Doig is definitely a player with talent and a lot of potential and this is seen by the league he is playing In and the interest he is gaining by other teams in Serie A and elsewhere. Like all young players he has some things he needs to work on and improve but I think with the right development and continued exposure to top level football this will take care of itself.
At this point in time Doig is still at Hellas Verona but he has been heavily linked to other Serie A teams for the majority of the summer, Bologna were said to be interested and Torino seemed very close to securing his signing at the start of the window but the news on that deal has went quiet.
The latest rumour is that Fulham have opened discussions to sign Doig and this would no doubt be a great move for him personally, at this moment in time he would need to compete with Antonee Robinson for the starting left back position but this level of competition and playing in the premier league could do wonders for his development and help him reach the next level if he gets an appropriate amount of game time.
Overall I really like Josh Doig and he is one of the biggest Scottish talents right now and in my opinion he would definitely have at least a couple of caps for Scotland if the left back position wasn’t so strong right now, Obviously it would be great for him if he got a move to the Premier league and then we could really see how good he is up against teams like Man City and Liverpool, however I think it would be interesting if he stayed in Italy for another season or two where he may get more game time right now and continues to develop into a quality left back but I suppose we will just need to see what happens, id be very surprised if he is still at Hellas Verona by the end of the transfer window and im excited to see how the next couple of seasons of his career pans out.