James McFadden has now backed Liverpool talent Ben Doak to breakthrough into the senior Scotland side and see Steve Clarke include the winger in their Euro 2024 squad.
The Tartan Army are on the cusp of making next year’s tournament having enjoyed a perfect qualifying campaign so far. Scotland top Group A ahead of Spain after taking five wins from a potential five games. But Clarke has so far overlooked Doak for any senior international side.
Doak has only represented his country at the junior level thus far in his fledgling career. The 17-year-old returned to Scotland’s Under-21 squad in the September international break for the first time in a year. He has also earned caps with the Tartan Army’s U16 and U17 teams.
Doak impressed with the Scotland U21s after Clarke’s latest snub
Clarke ignored calls to include Doak in his squad for Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier in Cyprus and friendly against England. Those he did include sealed a 3-0 win last Friday before losing 3-1 at home to the Three Lions on Tuesday. It snapped Scotland’s five-game winning streak.
In the meantime, Doak thrived as a centre-forward as Scotland’s U21s lost 1-0 to Spain’s U21 side on Monday. Head coach Scot Gemmill sought to utilise the youngster’s versatility in the European U21 Championship qualifying tie. It was the Tartan Army’s first match of Group B.
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Some had wanted Clarke to include Doak in the senior Scotland side, instead, and McFadden expects his breakthrough will come. Alex McLeish’s former Tartan Army assistant boss feels the Liverpool winger can be a ‘wildcard’ option at Euro 2024 next summer if given a chance.
McFadden views the Liverpool talent as a ‘wildcard’ for Euro 2024
McFadden also predicts Jurgen Klopp will hand Doak a chance with Liverpool to show Clarke what he can give Scotland. The ex-Everton striker sees the Europa League as the attacker’s best chance to get minutes ahead of Mohamed Salah on the right wing at Anfield this term.
“I think there’s a good chance he could go to the Euros,” McFadden told Open Goal. “He’ll get minutes at Liverpool this year, he’ll get chances. He’ll play in the Europa League games.
“Salah is in front of him. But he will get minutes and I think he’ll be a wee wildcard for the Euros. Whether it be from the start because the last time, we named a bigger squad. We brought in [Nathan] Patterson, [David] Turnbull and one other.
“They were allowed to go and train and get the experience. And then the squad was allowed to be bigger and wee Billy [Gilmour] was sensational at the Euros. But I think Ben Doak’s got a good chance of getting to the Euros.”