Scotland squad: Rangers' Nathan Patterson's Euro 2020 call-up shows Steve Clarke can buck pragmatic label

Scotland manager Steve Clarke’s well earned reputation as a pragmatist meant he was never going to think too far outside the box when compiling his 26-man squad for the Euro 2020 finals.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has named his squad for the Euro 2020 finals next month. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

As it is, his selection has generally combined loyalty to those who have underpinned the progress he has overseen since taking charge of the national team with a willingness to recognise the claims of three as yet uncapped players.

The inclusions of Nathan Patterson, Billy Gilmour and David Turnbull are fully merited on the basis of the form each of them has displayed, albeit over varying appearance numbers, for their clubs this season.

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In naming Chelsea wunderkind Gilmour and Celtic playmaker Turnbull among his midfield options for the tournament, circumstances have certainly forced Clarke’s hand. Had Rangers’ Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean of Norwich City not been sadly ruled out by injury, it’s highly unlikely either Gilmour or Turnbull would have earned their promotion from the under-21s.

But in choosing Rangers’ 19-year-old right-back, Clarke has made a call which will be tough to take for one of the more experienced hands who has previously been a regular in his squads.

Liam Palmer is the man who misses out, the Sheffield Wednesday defender having won seven of his eight caps under Clarke with the most recent of them coming in Scotland’s last game against the Faroe Islands at the end of March.

During his impressive spell in the Rangers first team this season, however, Patterson has clearly shown he is the most competent and talented right-back currently at Scotland’s disposal. Not only does he deserve his place in the squad, there is a compelling case for him to go into Clarke’s starting line-up.

No-one can accuse Clarke of bowing to sentiment with squad selection which looks well balanced throughout. Kevin Nisbet timed his run perfectly in claiming one of the forward slots, the Hibs striker justifiably holding off rival claims from the likes of Leigh Griffiths, Oli Burke and Lawrence Shankland who can now book a summer holiday to any green list destination they can find.

For the 26 who have made Clarke’s list, Hampden and Wembley are the only places to be next month.

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