Ben Doak produced a scintillating showing on his first start for Scotland under-21s.
The Celtic academy product showed exactly why he is so highly rated and is playing above the age group he is expected to be at on only his third cap for Scot Gemmill’s side, despite being on the end of a 2-1 friendly defeat to Iceland in front of over 2000 fans at Fir Park.
Doak provided the assist for Motherwell youngster Max Johnston to break the deadlock on the half hour mark and was unlucky not to be on the score sheet himself during an impressive first half display. He was denied twice by goalkeeper Adam Benediktsson after displaying the confidence to take several opposition players on and break into the box.
The 17-year-old faded more in the second half as Iceland turned proceedings around with a Kristall Ingason double but he was still Scotland’s main out ball as they looked to get back into the game through his skill, pace and tenacity.
Scotland went on to lose the clash but even after a nasty challenge on Doak, Gemmill opted to keep him on the pitch for the entire match – emphasising his importance to the team. The BBC Scotland commentary team also confirmed that scouts from English Premier League big-spenders Nottingham Forest were among those in attendance in North Lanarkshire to keep tabs on a potential loan deal for Doak when the transfer window opens in January.
Doak signed his first professional contract at Liverpool on Monday and made his Anfield debut last week, coming on in a Carabao Cup third round tie against Derby County. And that cameo was rewarded with a place on Jurgen Klopp’s bench for their league meeting with Southampton on Saturday.
He has also made appearances in Premier League 2, the Papa Johns Trophy and most notably for Barry Lewtas’ U19 side in the UEFA Youth League. Doak has scored four goals and provided four assists to help the young Reds top their Youth League group and progress to the last 16.