Scotland U21 boss Scot Gemmill has tipped Hibs’ Ryan Porteous to break into the Scotland senior side, and there’s no reason why he can’t.
The 20-year-old has been selected for the Scotland U21 squad, despite not playing since the turn of the year, following a long-term injury.
It’s a testament to Porteous’ ability that Gemmill has picked him, despite the fact he’ll be lacking match sharpness. The U21 boss has backed Porteous to reach the senior Scotland side.
He told the Edinburgh Evening News: “We are delighted to have him involved. It was just about our people talking to their people and making sure everyone is happy.
“Obviously protecting the player is paramount and we will, of course, do that. It shows what we think of him that we’ve called him up.
“I think he is going to be a big player moving forward. I think he is a player who can really push, there’s no limit for him. Can he play for Scotland in the future? Of course he can.”
Porteous could play for Scotland very shortly
The Hibs youngster is somewhat lucky to be a young Scottish centre-half right now. The area isn’t exactly bursting with brilliant talent compared to other areas of the park.
Scott McKenna of Aberdeen and Charlie Mulgrew are the usual pairing for Scotland right now. It’s not a bad partnership, but it’s certainly not amazing.
Mulgrew will retire from international duty soon too you’d like to think, seen as he is now 33. Outwith those two, the likes of John Souttar and Stuart Findlay are next in line.
Porteous, at full fitness, is one of the better centre-backs in Scotland. He has great physical presence and has maturity well beyond his 20 years of age.
If he can thrive this season, there’s no reason why he can’t break into that squad within the next year. Porteous is a super talent and has the potential to play at full international level.
First of all though, he has to get back to fitness. These games offer him two extra competitive matches to get back up to speed with, which will be of benefit to Hibs.
They recently confirmed that Darren McGregor will miss ‘several weeks’ of football with injury, so the Hibees need Porteous back playing ASAP.
Gemmill clearly has high hopes for Poretous and it won’t be a surprise to see him become a full Scotland international in the coming years.