Scotland have stolen a march on England with the news that Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour has pledged his international allegiance to his adopted country.
The 19-year-old started out playing for Scotland at youth level before being capped for England Under-17s, but insists his latest u-turn is for good.
The Brighton-born teenager, whose dad Ian was once on the books of Motherwell, confirmed his intentions after playing for Scotland Under-19s in the narrow 1-0 friendly defeat by France in Livingston on Wednesday. News of Gilmour’s decision will come as a boost. The playmaker is highly regarded and was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s 4-2 Europa League win over Bate Borisov last week.
Gilmour said: “I was with Scotland originally, but then I went with England and now I am back with Scotland.
“I have pledged my future now to Scotland. The reasons are that I just really enjoy playing with Scotland. Games like Wednesday are great experience for me.
“My aim is to keep doing well and see what happens.”
Having been at Arsenal since the age of seven, Gilmour was thrilled to be recognised by Arsene Wenger with a place among the substitutes for the trip to Belarus.
He added: “It’s been a big season so far with Arsenal and Scotland. I got called up for the first team when we played away in Bate Borisov and that was a great experience for me.
“The manager told me I was travelling the day before. I was very surprised to be honest, but I felt I was ready for it.
“You can see that the manager trusts young players because he has given some of the younger ones a few chances. To get into the first team shows I have been doing well recently and means that the manager has faith in me, I am very grateful to him.”