Brian McClair reckons Manchester United youngster Donald Love could be ready to make a swift leap on to the international stage after making his Red Devils debut on Saturday.
Scottish FA performance director McClair was delighted to see the Scotland Under-21 cap given his chance by United boss Louis van Gaal during Saturday’s defeat by Sunderland. It was a result which heaped more pressure on the Dutch coach but 21-year-old full-back Love showed no sign of nerves after replacing the injured Matteo Darmian after 37 minutes at the Stadium of Light. With national team manager Gordon Strachan set to name an extended squad for next month’s friendlies with the Czech Republic and Denmark, McClair reckons a run of games at the Old Trafford club could see Love – born in England but who qualifies for Scotland thanks to a grandmother from Stranraer – handed a surprise call-up.
Speaking to the Scottish FA website, he said: “I think it’s a great sign of progress that he was given a chance by the manager to show what he can do. With the injuries at United at the moment, he has a chance of getting more games under his belt and I’m sure that is something that Gordon will be keeping an eye on.
“He’s got a lot going for him, but overall to see a young Scottish player feature in that environment can only be a positive thing.”
McClair knows better than most the pressure that comes with wearing the United jersey, having featured more than 250 times for United.
“Making your debut for such a big club like Manchester United is nerve-wracking for any player, let alone a young player in such a high-pressure environment like a Premier League match,” he said.
“He’d have been apprehensive, but he was positive in his involvement in the match.
“From that first moment onwards he settled in to the flow of the match. He was one of United’s most attacking threats. It will have been something he has dreamed about for a long time.”