Steve Clarke reckons that the feeling of playing international football will help Chelsea and Hearts prospects Billy Gilmour and Aaron Hickey grow into brilliant Scotland players.
Both teenagers haven’t been selected for the senior Scotland squad, with their experience set to come with the Scots youth sides.
Clarke believes that’s the best thing for them as they need to ‘experience’ international football.
He told the Daily Record (page 60, 10/11/19): “You have to give young players time to grow. We’re not in a position where we have to force or push them in. People talk about Billy as well but we have fantastic midfield players just now.
“So that gives Billy time to develop. I know he has done well for the Under21s and it would be nice to see Hickey doing the same with the Under-19s or Under-21s.
“They need to play international football and get some experience there first.”
Scotland prospects Gilmour and Hickey will fulfill Clarke wishes at club level
Whilst experiencing international football at youth level is good, on the domestic scene is where Gilmour and Hickey are going to pick up the ‘experience’ Scotland boss Clarke is talking about.
Gilmour for one is making inroads into the Chelsea first-team this season. He has made his Premier League debut and featured in a few cup matches too, including a start against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.
Hickey on the other hand is a mainstay in the Hearts team now. After making his debut in May, the 17-year-old has made 11 appearances in the Premiership this term.
Domestic experience will be big for the teenage pair in the coming years as they look to build up their senior CV’s, whilst also looking to make an impression on their national team’s boss.