NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the UEFA Youth League Group A Matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli Under-19's and Liverpool FC Under-19's at Giuseppe Piccolo. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

16-year-old Ben Doak scores 7 minutes into Scotland U21s debut

Ben Doak‘s blistering start to the season continued on his debut for the Scotland under-21s, with the Liverpool winger scoring just seven minutes after coming on.

Doak made a £600,000 switch from Celtic to Liverpool earlier in the summer, and has immediately settled into a key role in the under-18s side.

He scored twice on his debut in the U18 Premier League before finding the net on his first outing in the UEFA Youth League, too, and so far his record stands at four goals and three assists in six appearances.

There was perhaps no surprise, then, that he caught the attention of Scotland U21 manager Scot Gemmell, who called him up for two friendlies against Northern Ireland this month.

At just 16, it served as a big opportunity to impress when he replaced Lewis Neilson off the bench just 31 minutes into the meeting in Belfast on Thursday afternoon.

And seven minutes after taking his place on the right, the teenager scored his first goal.

It came following a stunning through ball, splitting apart the Northern Irish defence to allow Doak to cut inside and bear down on goal, finishing well at goalkeeper Dermot Mee’s near post to make it 2-0.

In doing so, he broke Billy Gilmour’s record to become the youngest-ever goalscorer for the Scotland U21s, having also established himself as the second-youngest appearance-maker.

Josh Mulligan made it 3-0 for Scotland before a consolation effort from Northern Ireland’s Chris McKee ensured the game ended at 3-1.

Doak was eager to add to his debut goal as he kept himself busy on the right flank, but he struggled to stamp his influence further, with Mulligan taking the ball off his foot to net the third.

The 16-year-old will be hoping to add another appearance in the reverse fixture on Sunday, with Gemmell potentially handing him a start depending on the fitness of Neilson.