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Liverpool’s Doak given surprise call-up to Scotland’s Euros squad

Uncapped Liverpool winger Ben Doak was the shock inclusion in Steve Clarke’s provisional Scotland squad for Euro 2024 on Wednesday.

Doak has not played since December due to a knee injury but Clarke has been forced to look for solutions with a number of players ruled out for the tournament.

The 18-year-old shone for Liverpool at times in the 2022/23 campaign but was limited to just five appearances this season before suffering a meniscus tear.

Defending Doak’s selection, Clarke said: “Ben’s obviously got a lot of talent, he catches your eye.

“The pace is something we haven’t got an abundance of in the squad. He’s something a little bit different. He’s a young man, he’s got a lot to learn in the game.

“I’ve never had the chance to work closely with Ben, but it just felt like the right opportunity to put him in.”

First-choice right-backs Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson are both sidelined, as is Bologna’s Lewis Ferguson, who won Serie A midfielder of the year this season.

Bristol City’s Ross McCrorie, who is yet to make an international appearance, is also selected as an option at right-back.

Celtic’s James Forrest is rewarded for his strong finish to the season with a first Scotland call in three years.

“James Forrest, where do you start?” Clarke said.

“If ever there’s an example to young players on how to conduct yourself if things are not going well for you at your club, I think James epitomises that.

“He’s had a fantastic finish to the season. And he obviously brings a bit of experience having been part of the squad for the last Euros. It will be nice to see James again.”

Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, Aston Villa captain John McGinn and Manchester United’s Scott McTominay are all included.

Clarke has named 28 players, but the squad will need to be cut to 26 before the tournament in Germany begins.

Scotland face the hosts in the opening match before taking on Switzerland and Hungary in Group A.

Clarke’s men play Gibraltar on June 3 and Finland four days later in warm-up friendlies.

Scotland have qualified for a major tournament for just the second time in 26 years and have never progressed to the knockout stage in 11 previous attempts at the European Championship or World Cup.

Scotland’s provisional Euro 2024 squad:

Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Norwich City), Zander Clark (Hearts), Craig Gordon (Hearts), Liam Kelly (Motherwell).

Defenders: Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad/ESP), Jack Hendry (Al Ettifaq/KSA), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Scott McKenna (FC Copenhagen/DEN), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Greg Taylor (Celtic), John Souttar (Rangers), Anthony Ralston (Celtic), Ross McCrorie (Bristol City).

Midfielders: Callum McGregor (Celtic), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Jack (Rangers).

Forwards: Lyndon Dykes (Queen’s Park Rangers), Che Adams (Southampton), Lawrence Shankland (Hearts), Ben Doak (Liverpool), James Forrest (Celtic).

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