Celtic and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish has praised the ability of Hoops-linked Lawrence Shankland this weekend, writing in his regular Sunday Post column (06/10 print edition, Post Match supplement page 11).
Celtic were credited with interest in the red hot Dundee United striker last week, said by The Daily Record to have sent scout Tosh McKinlay to watch him in action for the Scottish Championship side.
His form has been so good that Scotland national team boss Steve Clarke has called him up for internationals this month, causing some pundits to scratch their head (The Daily Record), but Dalglish reckons that call up has been fully earned.
He doesn’t feel that playing in a lower league should detract from the fact he has a natural ability to score goals.
As quoted by The Sunday Post (06/10 print edition, Post Match supplement page 11), the Hoops and Scotland legend said: “Lawrence is a goalscorer. He has banged in goals on a regular basis in the past three seasons for Ayr United and Dundee United and that should never be dismissed.
“Yes, I totally get the argument that he isn’t playing in Scotland’s top flight, and is operating at a level below. But being able to put the ball in the back of the net is an art – regardless of the stage you are playing on.
“You need to have instinct, and you need to know when to be in the right place at the right time. Lawrence clearly has that. So he should be regarded as an asset.”
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An endorsement that should interest Celtic?
Dalglish is worth listening to when giving his opinion on striking talents. He’s one of the greatest attackers to ever wear the Hoops and as a manager worked with some of the best around too.
The legend clearly feels that Shankland has enough about him to be worthy of a Scotland call up right now.
From a Celtic perspective he’s definitely worth monitoring. The volume of goals he’s scored over the last few years is notable, even though they’ve come below Scottish Premiership level.
Last season he netted 34 goals for Ayr United and this term he already has 15. It’s quite a record.
Whether he’s good enough to make a step up to Celtic is unknown of course. However, his career to date is quite similar to a certain Leigh Griffiths, so perhaps we should keep an open mind on this one as the months go on.