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Five Uncapped Players That Should Be In Next Scotland Squad

Date: 5th March 2018

By Scott Johnston, Editor of The Footy Blog & DP for Full Time Films.

 The SFA have finally decided to bring Alex McLeish back as the national team manager. His appointment has been met with mixed emotions from the supporters but now’s the time for the Tartan Army to back Big Eck and let’s hope he can guide us to the European Championships in 2020.

I’m hoping the experienced gaffer tries out a 3-5-2 formation in the upcoming international friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary. I also want to see some new faces in the next set of Scotland squads and here’s five uncapped players I’d definitely like to see in Alex’s first squad selection:

Jon McLaughlin

Many thought that the thirty year old was just going to be Jack Hamilton’s understudy, when he signed for Heart of  Midlothian in the summer. Yet McLaughlin has came in and made the number one jersey his own and he has  performed admirably well in the Scottish Premiership this season.

With Craig Gordon injured and David Marshall struggling for game time at Hull City, the goalkeeping area has suddenly got a couple of vacancies to fill.

McLaughlin may have had a shaky first-half against Motherwell in the Scottish Cup but his consistency has helped keep Hearts in the top six. He managed to keep eight successive cleansheets during the winter months, which included a famous victory for the Jambos over champions Celtic at Tynecastle.

Usually a very composed performer and one that can produce the right saves at important times for his side, that’s a quality that instils confidence in his defence. I’d like to see more Scottish Premiership stars playing for Scotland and I believe Jon could fit the bill.

Jordan Archer

As I’ve already noted, Scotland has a few issues with the goalkeeping department. Archer has been playing for Millwall in the English Championship and his outings have helped them into the top half of the table. The goalkeeper has been impressive recently, keeping three clean-sheets in February.

The twenty-four year old former Spurs goalie is a strong shot-stopper and has great reflexes. He’s also quick to close down angles when called upon in one-on-one situations. Can command his area and looks to start quick counter attacks, which could prove useful with the dangerous wide players we have in Scottish team.

Jordan has more than ten caps with the Scottish under-21s and received his first senior call-up in August. It would be good to see him capped and find out if he’s ready for a starting role in international football.


Scott McTominay

When I started writing this article, I thought this was going to be more wishful thinking than reality but it seems Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has decided to play for Scotland ahead of England.

While I don’t think McTominay is the new Messiah, I do believe Scotland have managed to get a young player who has a big future in front of him. He’s a disciplined footballer and one who can keep the ball moving with accurate passes. A smart middle-man that can win the ball via tackles, interceptions and in aerial duels.

It says a lot that United boss Jose Mourinho has chosen to use McTominay more and more in 2018, when the big clashes are coming thick and fast. He even used the twenty-one year old ahead of Paul Pogba in a Premier League fixture against Huddersfield Town and in the Champions League tie against Sevilla.

With Scott Brown retiring from the international stage, it will be great if Scotland can integrate Scott McTominay into the international set-up as a midfielder who can win the ball back in important areas.

A huge plus for Alex McLeish, if he has indeed managed to convince McTominay to play for the Tartan Army.

Greg Docherty

Had an impressive start to the campaign with Hamilton Accies and has continued that since his big
move to Rangers in January.

The twenty-one year old never seems scared to show for the ball, run with it and get beyond it with his runs. Has a very keen eye for a pass and with his vision and creativity he’s provided six assists for teammates this season. Docherty also has plenty of drive that gets fans speaking enthusiastically about his pedigree.

He doesn’t mind doing some of the dirty stuff either as he makes challenges and covers for overlapping full-backs too.

Although Brown has retired and Darren Fletcher might be waning, Scotland seem to have a good few midfielders to choose from with Docherty, McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor and John McGinn all in the mix.

Greg’s start at Ibrox has seen the central midfielder being compared to former Scotland captain Barry Ferguson. If he can live up to that billing with added pace, then he could be in our team for years to come.

Oli McBurnie

Oli is another youngster who might get a chance to shine in McLeish’s first squad of the new era. Scotland haven’t got much strength in depth in the striking areas. Leigh Griffths proved himself in the last qualifying campaign but the hitman has suffered from a few injuries this term. Players like Steven Fletcher, Chris Martin and Jordan Rhodes don’t seem to excite the Scottish support nor do they have a great international goalscoring records.

McBurnie seems to be a great prospect. Swansea City loaned the twenty-one year old on the last day of the January transfer window and the young striker has since notched up four goals in five English Championship games for Barnsley.

Good with the ball at his feet, he doesn’t mind taking defenders on with a dribble before slotting chances away with composure. The forward is also effective in air and can take chances with his head.

McBurnie is another one who has played his part with the talented under-21 side and who probably deserves a chance to at least train with the senior lads. Hopefully he can provide the goals that gets Scotland to a major international tournament!

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