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Scotland Fans Should Be Excited About The English Premier League

Date: 9th August 2019

 

I’m a big believer in Scottish fans supporting their local clubs and their communities on match days. 

That doesn’t mean that Scottish supporters can’t watch and appreciate what happens in the English Premier League or any foreign league for that matter. 

I grew up loving Scottish football but I’d always keep an eye on what was happening down south and in countries like France, Italy and Spain. 

This season fans of our national team have a vested interest in what happens in the Premier League, that’s because we once again have a healthy contingent of Scottish players plying their trade in England’s top flight. 

Yesterday, Arsenal paid a record fee for a Scottish star as they paid Celtic £25m for left-back Kieran Tierney. Anyone who has watched The Hoops or the Premiership as a whole know the talent Tierney possesses. 

The Gunners have had a fragile defence in the last few years and Tierney has the ability to help fix those issues. 

Scotland have two great left-backs at the moment, the other being Andrew Robertson. After helping Liverpool win the Champions League last term, Robertson and his teammates will be determined to capture the Premier League title in this campaign. 

Current Scotland captain Andy was superb for The Reds last season and finished the campaign with an incredible eleven league assists for the Anfield side. The full-back has become a world class performer and will hope to prove that once again in 2019-20. 

Another assist king in England last year was AFC Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser. The pacey, direct forward made fourteen assists and also grabbed seven goals. The Cherries fought hard to keep him at their club and I really hope he has another super season this time around. 

As I said Tierney’s move to Arsenal became the most expensive in history involving a Scottish player, the previous record happened earlier in the summer transfer window when Premier League new boys Sheffield United forked out around £20m for striker Oli McBurnie

Some of the Tartan Army seem to have already written off Oli when it comes to Scotland but I think that’s unfair. He can hold the ball up, grab goals and run at defences. We should remember that McBurnie was brought in under former Scots boss Alex McLeish and very few players came out of that period with much credit. 

If Oli McBurnie succeeds and helps keep The Blades in the top flight, then he should come back into the Scotland camp buoyed and ready to prove himself on the international scene. 

McBurnie will have fellow Scot John Fleck with him at Bramall Lane. Fleck was a teenage prodigy at Rangers when he started his career. Unfortunately he didn’t realise his full potential at Ibrox. 

The playmaker has since developed his game in the lower leagues in England and was a top performer for Sheffield Utd as they won promotion last season. His performances earned him call-ups to the Scottish senior side. He could possess the passing ability that gets Oli on the scoresheet regularly. 

Fellow newbies Norwich City have also got a Scottish duo within their first-team ranks. 

Captain Grant Hanley had an injury hit season last term but the Scottish centre-back played a fair amount of minutes during preseason and it could be the twenty-seven year old’s chance to prove himself at the highest level. 

In midfield, The Canaries have former Aberdeen and St Mirren man Kenny McLean. He played twenty times in the English Championship in his debut season at Carrow Road and was impressive. It’s a big step up for the attack-minded player but he showed recently with Scotland that he can make an impact in big games. 

The Canaries signed up eighteen year old Aidan Fitzpatrick in June. I doubt the former Partick Thistle youngster will be involved in the first team in the opening months but who knows what will happen during the long campaign, especially if he proves himself in their youth ranks. 

Aston Villa make up the list of new sides competing in the Premier League this term. They have the very influential and exciting John McGinn

The tenacious midfielder was superb for the Villains last season and has been rewarded with a new five year deal. He looks to have flourished playing in the same side as Jack Grealish and will hope to shine in the engine room against some of the world’s best midfielders. 

Another midfielder that could be given more opportunities this year could be Manchester United man Scott McTominay. United didn’t bring in any new midfield recruits and that could see holding midfielder McTominay get more game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho was a huge fan of the disciplined talents of Scott and it looks like Ole could be ready to convert him into a regular starter at Old Trafford. 

Stuart Armstrong made twenty-nine appearances in the league last year at Southampton. The Scottish midfielder seemed to get better as each game passed. His second season at The Saints could be a real breakout year for the talented twenty-seven year old. 

Here’s hoping that Robert Snodgrass and Matt Ritchie can return to the Scotland fold.

Snodgrass had a very good year at West Ham United and will hope to do so again under Manuel Pellegrini. Ritchie might not be the fasted player but his accurate passing and his ability from set-pieces can be dangerous at any level. 

All in all, I’m delighted that we have so many talented Scottish players in the Premier League and I look forward to seeing how they all get on this season! 

 

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