Chelsea starlet, Celtic shining light, Aberdeen stalwart: Five players whose Scotland inclusion is up for debate
We take a look at five players whose inclusion in the Scotland squad is up for debate ...
While Aberdeen have not enjoyed a stellar season by recent standards, experienced defender Considine has been far from the Dons’ worst performer in a creaky backline. The 34-year-old may have won the first of his three caps only late last year, but he is already an important part of the squad, popular with his team-mates and the inspiration for the Yes Sir, I Can Boogie anthem. Scotland will need dependable, versatile options in the squad and being able to play centrally in a back-three or back-four, or as an out-and-out left-back, will play into Considine’s hands. It’s unlikely Steve Clarke will leave him out.
Still a teenager and still uncapped, Billy Gilmour would fall into the ‘wildcard’ category for Scotland boss Clarke. The 19-year-old midfielder has played 11 matches for Chelsea this season and has impressed manager Thomas Tuchel with his classiness on the ball and range of passing. Able to play slightly deeper, the enforced absences of Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean have opened the door for Gilmour, who is clearly Scotland’s future in midfield. Taking him to a major championship would enhance his development and give Scotland an added dimension in midfield.
Named PFA Young Player of the Year and one of the few success stories for Celtic this season, uncapped Turnbull is making a strong case for inclusion. A good passer of the ball, with an aptitude for scoring goals from outside the penalty box and a serious threat from set-plays, the ex-Motherwell man has timed his run well. Ahead of team-mate Ryan Christie in the Parkhead pecking order, the question now is whether he’s done enough to convince Clarke that he can be an asset to Scotland. Like Gilmour, he’s yet to be included in a Scotland squad.
There is an increasingly growing cult on social media calling for the 25-year-old midfielder to get his Scotland call. Gauld has had a fine season at relegation-threatened Farense, scoring ten goals and being their talisman. It’s not just goals, it’s his all-round play, his delivery from out wide and the sophisticated way he plays his football. Yet, his exploits have yet to convince Clarke, who is clearly well-stocked in this area. The suggestion is that Gauld – whose last spell on these shores was hampered by injury and managerial change at Hibs – is set to miss out, which will dishearten his many online supporters.
A year ago, Shankland was one of Scotland’s main protagonists in attack, but since then he has been overtaken by Southampton’s Che Adams and QPR’s Lyndon Dykes. Such has been Kevin Nisbet’s form at Hibs this term, and the 25-year-old’s debut in dark blue back in March, a strong argument can be made that Nisbet is now ahead of him in the pecking order. Oli McBurnie’s season-ending injury helps Shankland, who scored in the penalty shoot-out win over Israel, but with Leigh Griffiths also vying for a place, it’s far from certain that the Dundee United man will get the nod.
A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.