Graham Gartland believes Liam Scales has the potential to win 50 caps for the Republic of Ireland over the next decade.

Scales, who moved to Celtic from Shamrock Rovers at the end of August, made his debut for the Bhoys against Raith Rovers last week.

His new manager Ange Postecoglou has said the defender will need time to bed in at Parkhead but Gartland expects Scales' career to escalate.

Gartland has worked extensively at within Shamrock Rovers academy and also served as Neil McCann's No 2 at Dundee. He can see Scales nail down a spot at Celtic and fully establish himself with his country too.

"There's a chance for him to play," Gartland told the RTÉ Soccer Podcast.

"Celtic signed Greg Taylor who was with Kilmarnock but they were unsure of him last season. I think Liam has a chance to get in and play at Celtic. I think he's a chance to cement his place either at left-back or left centre-back.

"It shows you, he had two seasons at Rovers and he's playing for Celtic now in front of 60,00 people. It's great I'm delighted for him as well because he's such a down to earth, humble kid. I think he'll take it all in his stride."

"He's technically better than I thought he was. He has a really soft touch."

Scales was called into Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad before the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan at the start of the month after Dara O'Shea and Nathan Collins were ruled out with injuries.

On Thursday Kenny will name his panel for the October games against Azerbaijan and Qatar.

"I remember when I first seen Liam play, I'd come back for a weekend and watched a game," Scales added.

"I spoke to Stephen [Bradley] about him. Stephen really liked him. He was talking about how good his distribution is and he has a lovely weight of pass. He's technically better than I thought he was. He has a really soft touch.

Graham Gartland in action for Drogheda United back in 2006

"I think he can go places. He's a good height, he's athletically very good, he doesn't get done for pace too much, he's quick without being lightning. He's aggressive. He's only going to get better the more experience he gets and the more he gains from playing against and with better players.

"I think he'll go on to be a full international and probably collect up to 50 caps over the next ten years hopefully.

"Left-sided centre-backs, there's something about them that they stand out because they give a really good balance to your team. Who do Ireland have at left-sided centre-back?

"They've Duffy, they've Egan. Who else would you say can go and play there? I think he has a chance to be a consistent member of the Ireland squad over the next ten years.

"Whether he goes on to have 50 caps, that's probably a little bit ambitious from me but I think if he got between 20 and 30, I think that'll be the least he'll achieve."

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