Hearts ace 'better' than Hibs and Celtic stars as Scotland omission mystifies
Hearts star Stephen Kingsley is a glaring omission from Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad, according to Ryan Stevenson/
The ex-Tynecastle midfielder believes the versatile defender is better than some defensive options in the national team squad called up for the upcoming triple header.
Scotland face Ukraine at Hampden Park on Wednesday night before welcoming Ireland to Mount Florida on Saturday then playing Ukraine for the second time in a week when the team travel to Poland.
Stevenson has compared the Kingsley situation to Arsenal star Ben White who wasn’t called up by England despite being comfortable at left-back, wing-back as well as at centre-back in a two and a three.
“For the life of me I can’t understand why the Hearts defender isn’t preparing to take on Ukraine at Hampden this evening,” he said in his Daily Record column.
“Especially since Grant Hanley has pulled out of the original squad injured. Stephen can play centre half or left back equally well and that versatility is huge at international level. He is quick, strong and never seems to be in bother because of the way he reads the game. He was outstanding again in Sunday’s win at Motherwell. Not only as part of a defensive unit that soaked up so much pressure but his pass for the third goal was exquisite.
It’s hard enough to see that pass at pitch level but to execute it with the perfect weight in between the midfielder and defenders? Pure class. He’s simply a very good footballer.
“I know what people will say here - he’s anti-Hibs, blah, blah - but I would have Stephen Kingsley ahead of Ryan Porteous all day long. Porteous has been a very good player for Hibs. He’s a talent.
“But over the last year and a half Stephen has been one of Hearts’ best players in a side that cruised to third, got into a cup final and is now competing in Europe. I’d say he’s a better full-back than Greg Taylor too. What a free transfer he’s been. You’d pay heavy money for him now.”