Former Scottish international Charlie Nicholas has launched into a surprise attack on Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay over his decision to play for Scotland.
The 21-year-old chose to represent the country of his father’s birth on Sunday after a week of courtship from new boss Alex McLeish and England head coach Gareth Southgate.
The midfielder was born in Lancashire and eligible to play for both nations. Having chosen his paternal heritage he is expected to be called up to Alex McLeish’s squad for the friendly double-header at the end of March.
Nicholas, though, doubts McTominay’s motivations for picking Scotland and believes it’s taking away from the identity of the national side.
He told Sky Sports: “I’m surprised that he has chosen Scotland as I honestly didn’t think he would.
“It is tough to say until we hear what he has to say about it but if you believe in yourself and your ability then I would have thought it would be a fairly straight-forward decision to choose England.
“He was born in England and sounds like he’s English so I’m not sure how having a Scottish father is a stronger reason than where you are from. It sounds like his father has picked it more than him.
“We used to source kids who were eligible when they were 13 or 14 and I really hated the fact that our country went after English players and thought it stunk of desperation.
“I’ve also felt like it takes something away from our identity. We may not have the most talented players but they are grafters and have to be passionate about representing their country.
“A lot of guys are just coming to play for us to top up their CVs and boost their sponsors, so it doesn’t sit well with me.”