Amidst dropouts and injuries, Scotland are short on options at centre-back right now, yet they have left out one of their best at present in Declan Gallagher.
The defender’s debut Premiership season was nothing short of brilliant, forming an excellent partnership with Craig Halkett and Alan Lithgow at Livingston, helping the Lions survive in the Premiership.
After keeping an outstanding 15 clean sheets in West Lothian last term, Gallagher moved to Motherwell and has kept up his impressive form.
Despite this, Steve Clarke has not called upon him. With two of his best defenders in Scott McKenna and Liam Cooper out with injury, a gap had opened up for Gallagher.
It wasn’t to be this time around though.
What more can Gallagher do to earn a Scotland call-up?
Undisputedly Motherwell’s best player and signing of the season so far, Gallagher must be wondering what else he needs to do for a call-up.
He is an old school defender who battles hard on the ground and wins most things in the air, highlighted by the fact he’s won the second highest amount of aerial duels in the Premiership this term.
Motherwell aren’t the long ball merchants of years gone by this term, but they are partial to the odd 60-yard diagonal every now and then.
Livingston had the second most long passes in Europe last season (CIES Football Observatory via Daily Record), something the departed Livi centre-half played a role in.
It’s no surprise to see that his passes from the back out to the likes of Sherwin Seedorf and James Scott have proven effective thus far.
Even in attack he has been a monster, causing havoc in the opposition’s box. Motherwell have scored three of their 12 goals from corner kicks this term, with Gallagher notching a goal and an assist from those very situations.
There are very few Scottish centre-backs who can hold a candle to the form Gallagher is in. He’s not just been good for four or five games, he’s been thriving for over a season now.
His Scotland berth must be on the horizon.