Scotland are currently spoiled for choice when it comes to full-backs, with 20-year-old Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson set to follow the more experienced duo of Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney in making a big-money move from Scotland to the Premier League.
Here the PA news agency takes a look at the latest burgeoning batch of young Scottish full-backs making their presence felt.
Patterson has made just 25 appearances for Rangers’ first team since being given his debut in a Scottish Cup tie against Stranraer two years ago. However, despite being unable to dislodge club captain James Tavernier to earn a regular starting place at club level, Patterson has made a huge impression, earning himself involvement with Scotland at Euro 2020 and now the chance to move to Everton for a transfer fee which could rise to eight figures and make him the most expensive player ever sold by Rangers.
After breaking on to the scene as a 16-year-old with Hearts in 2019, Hickey earned himself a £1.5million move to Serie A side Bologna in summer 2020. The 19-year-old has established himself in Italy’s top flight over the past 18 months and has already eclipsed Joe Jordan as the highest-scoring Scot in Serie A after netting four goals in 19 appearances this term alone from left-wing-back. His two-footedness means he can also play on the right. Recently linked with a big-money move to AC Milan and Aston Villa, it is surely only a matter of time before he makes his Scotland debut.
The 18-year-old Aberdeen academy graduate has made a huge impression since being given his first-team debut in March 2021. Has made 24 appearances at right-back and has been persistently linked with bigger clubs this term, including Manchester United, Bologna, Eintracht Frankfurt, Leicester and Newcastle. Aberdeen, who value Ramsay at £4million, are likely to have their resolve tested this month.
The 19-year-old has made 56 appearances for Hibernian since being given his debut by Jack Ross in August 2020. Made a huge impact in his first season in the team, displacing the long-serving Lewis Stevenson as first-choice left-back and becoming the subject of strong interest in the summer which led to him being left out the side at the start of the season as he looked set to join Watford. The move fell through on that occasion, but Doig is sure to attract further attention in the near future.
At 23, Ralston is not as young as the others but despite this, it is only in the past six months that he has emerged as a full-back of genuine substance. Showed promise when he first broke through as a teenager in 2016, but lost his way thereafter and looked like he would have to leave Celtic and possibly drop down the divisions. However, he was given a fresh start by new boss Ange Postecoglou at the start of this term and his seized it impressively, making himself Celtic’s first-choice right-back, chipping in with five goals, earning a contract extension until 2025 and being called up to the Scotland squad for the first time in November.