ATHLETIC loanee Ben Summers has been hailed as a "special player" whose talents immediately impressed one of his new team-mates during his first training session.

The 19-year-old, who made his first starting appearance for the club during Saturday's draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, will miss this weekend's trip to Dundee United in the SPFL Trust Trophy after linking up with the Scotland under-21 squad.

He is one of 23 players that are in Scot Gemmill's squad for their opening 2025 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier in Spain on Monday, and Joe Chalmers has revealed that he "can fully see why" he's been included.

Summers, who agreed a season-long move from Celtic last month, appeared from the bench in his first two Pars appearances, at United in a Championship clash, and then at home to Raith Rovers a week later, before playing 84 minutes in the Highlands.

Prior to the game at the Caledonian Stadium, he chose to be involved for the reserves in their Reserve League opener at Dundee last Tuesday, a match that fellow midfielder Chalmers helped take the team for, in the absence of Greg Shields, alongside Gary Montignani.

"Just standing at the side watching him, some of his touches, his movements - he's a special player," Chalmers told Press Sport.

"You can fully see why he's in that Scotland 21s team.

"He's somebody that always looks to get on the ball. He wants the ball, he wants to get on the ball, he wants to make things happen, so he brings that something different to the team. He's definitely going to have a big role to play this eason.

"You could tell after one training session, just with the way he moves with the ball, and has quick feet, that he's a skillful player. You can tell right away he's got some talent.

"It's his first experience of proper men's football, and being away from Celtic, where he's been all his life. It takes you a while to get used to things, the speed of the play, the physicality and things like that.

"There's no doubt he's going to be a massive player for us this season."

Pars boss James McPake also believes that Summers will be a fine acquisition to his squad, and praised his attitude - as well as that of Chris Hamilton and Paul Allan, who also featured - in electing to turn out for the reserves last week.

"I wasn't surprised when he did say he wanted to play. I know Darren O'Dea (coach of the Celtic 'B' team), he's one of my best friends, and, in terms of attitude, he said that you'll not meet a better kid. He's been that since he came in," McPake said.

"I think he's realistic enough to understand that there is a difference from B team football to the Championship, and he's worked ever so hard in training to impress. He's now well in the group in terms of getting to know everyone. We've settled him in.

"He's adjusting to first team football essentially. That takes a wee bit of time. He's had bits and pieces at Celtic but, notably, what he's really had is B team football.

"We saw that with Ewan (Otoo) when he came in, we saw it with Kane (Ritchie-Hosler), and it's not a slight on the B teams, but it's different, particularly when they're come from Celtic and Rangers. It's development football, essentially, to get them into their first team, and learn the way they play. The one thing about him is he really wants to learn.

"Ben is a special one. We just need to take our time with him, get him right, and he'll be a good player for the football club."