Scotland manager Steve Clarke has praised the potential of Liverpool youngster Ben Doak.

Doak has shot to stardom with the Reds over the past few months and is now a fixture in the first-team squad aged just 17. This has led to hope that the youngster could be included in the Scotland national team squad for the upcoming international break.

But after leaving Doak out, Scotland boss Steve Clarke told The Herald that the teenager is certainly in his thoughts.

Ben Doak
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“Ben’s doing very well at his club,” began the former Liverpool assistant manager. “If you are involved at a club like Liverpool then you are doing well. I just felt this was the right time to bring in Elliot (Newcastle United midfielder Anderson).

“Ben, if he continues to do what he’s doing, will be involved in the future. I wouldn’t worry too much that. Ben will go with the Scotland Under 21s. He will get 90 minutes with them (against Spain in a European qualifier in Jaen next month), which is good because he’s not getting a lot of 90 minutes.

“Anybody who is doing well for their club, especially at a club like Liverpool, and is playing off the bench in the English Premier League, they are always going to be close. Ben knows that we are watching him.

“But he has to continue doing what he is doing at his club, and he has to continue playing well. If he does that, I’m sure his turn won’t be too far away. He’s certainly one for the future and if he keeps doing what he’s doing he’s going to make my job even more difficult, which is fantastic.”

Doak misses out on call-up

Doak should be disappointed not to make the latest Scotland squad. Yes, he’s only played a handful of minutes so far this season, and only has six appearances to his name for Liverpool, that’s true.

But that doesn’t do justice to the sheer potential that this young man has. He has looked the part every time he’s played for Liverpool and would be a threat for his country.

As Clarke says, he’s in his thoughts for the future, but just needs a little more game time. That’s fair enough, but it also begs the question ‘why wait?’

Ben Doak
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It’s quite clear that Doak is a star in the making. He may or may not reach the lofty standards needed to be a Liverpool player in the long-term, but he’ll play to a good standard somewhere.

As a result, Scotland can have him in their ranks for the next 15 years. Of course there’s no need to rush him, but when a player is that abundantly talented, you should throw them in whenever you can.

One man who will be glad that Clarke didn’t do that though, is Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool boss is acutely aware of the talents Doak has, but will be wary of giving him too much too soon.

In Andy Robertson, Doak also has the perfect mentor at Anfield. You can bet that Robbo will be in Clarke’s ear about just how good his young Liverpool teammate is, though. Next time, Ben!

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