Neil Lennon has revealed Alex McLeish has been in touch about Martin Boyle with the winger set to have to make a decision about his international future.
From being uncapped, the in-form 25-year-old is now in a position of being coveted by two countries – Scotland, the land of his birth, and Australia, from where his father, Graeme, hails.
McLeish will name his squad for the forthcoming games against Israel and Portugal on Monday. The Scotland manager was an interested spectator at Easter Road on Tuesday when Hibs lost to Aberdeen in a penalty shoot-out in the Betfred Cup. Boyle impressed again and converted one of his side’s penalties.
Complicating matters is the fact Australia manager Graham Arnold has already confirmed he is planning to name the player in the Socceroos squad for the friendly against Kuwait in Kuwait City on 15 October.
“I spoke to the kid the other day,” Arnold said yesterday. “He’s very excited to be involved.”
This clash is a friendly so were Boyle to appear he would not be tied down to Australia. Scotland’s clash with Israel is a Nations League fixture and so would commit Boyle to the Scots were he to play, with McLeish seeming set to include the winger in his squad on Monday.
“I’ve spoken to Alex, yes,” revealed Lennon, pictured. “He was due to speak to Martin. I left it to him. I spoke to Martin briefly about it last night. I said you may get a call from Alex, so be ready if you want to speak to him or not.
“It is great recognition for him. He might have a decision to make.”
Lennon was not surprised McLeish made contact following Tuesday’s display. Boyle was an eye-catching performer once again.
“He was outstanding,” said Lennon. “He has been outstanding for two years. I see it every week. I see him doing something special almost every week – then I see him do something stupid more or less every week as well.
“But then if he was the complete player he would be playing at a far higher level than where he is at the minute. The improvement is enormous and that’s down to the individual. His physicality and strength has got better, his athleticism and fitness levels are unbelievably high. Is he ready to be called up? That’s for others to decide. But he certainly has the attributes to play international football.”
Lennon is leaving it up to Boyle to make a decision about his international future. While it would, on the face of it, be less taxing for the player if he did not have to fly across the world for games, his manager was untroubled by either eventuality.
“It’s a hypothetical question, it’s down to the player’s preference,” said Lennon. “That’s if Alex is going to call him up, I don’t know how the conversation went. I’ve left it up to those two – that’s if they’ve had the conversation yet.”
St Mirren have rewarded frontman Simeon Jackson with a short-term deal after the Canada international impressed on trial and he could make his debut today.
Manager Oran Kearney said of the 31-year-old: “He fits the bill for what we are needing at this point in time.
“He’s been about the Championship in England for a long time and his pedigree goes before him.
“He’ll be well liked around the place and he’ll be a good influence on everybody around the club.”