Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish has been impressed by the development of the Reds' latest Scottish star Ben Doak, but insisted expectation regarding the teenager must be 'controlled'.
Doak, who doesn't turn 18 until next month, has made three appearances for Jurgen Klopp's first team in 2023/24 and is widely regarded as one of the finest attacking talents of his age group.
The winger, who joined Liverpool from Celtic in 2022, also caught the eye with his performances for Scotland Under-21s during the last international break, with manager Scot Gemmill calling the youngster's display in the 1-0 defeat to Spain 'exceptional'.
There has already been talk of Doak making the step up to Steve Clarke's senior side.
When asked about Doak's chances of making the Scotland squad for next summer's Euros in Germany, Dalglish admitted he won't be 'far away' if he continues on his current trajectory.
“He’s only a baby, isn’t he?” the legendary former Liverpool forward and manager said, via the Scotsman.
“He’s done really well in just a year-and-a-half. He’ll not be far away from it [Scotland]. He was on the bench at Brighton [last weekend] and he came on in the Europa League. If he just handles it properly, he’s got a lot of things going for him. He’s got more going for him than going against him.
“[But] the expectation has to be controlled. You cannot maybe control the expectation of the media, but it certainly needs controlled by him. He’s obviously impressed Jurgen and whoever else with the first-team and also at the training facilities. He’s going well.
"[There are] two things [about going to Germany with Scotland]. Let’s get there first. And then Steve can assess what players he’s got. But if the wee man keeps continuing … he’s going to go through a spell where it’s not going as well for him as he’d want. It’s how you react to that as well. He came on in one of the games recently [in the League Cup against Leicester City a week ago] and missed one from about two yards. He put it over the bar. But he’d done well in the other aspects. He was more disappointed that he’d missed it. That’s good. He’ll not miss it the next time then.
“Listen, there will be stories all over the place about young Scottish boys kicking on. The boy [Lewis Ferguson] at Bologna and the wee man kicking on at Liverpool. It’s happening all the time that there’s someone coming through. That’s a reflection on how improved the national team’s results have been. We’ve got better players to choose from. If he [Doak] continues in the same vein, keeps his feet on the ground, he won’t have a problem.”
Doak, who started Liverpool's wins over LASK and Leicester this season, signed a new long-term contract at Anfield last month.