From Chelsea starlet Billy Gilmour to Hibs’ Kevin Nisbet, there’s plenty of wildcard options for Steve Clarke to look at ahead of next summer.
The Scotland manager has delivered history to the nation, qualifying for next summer’s Euro 2020 finals, a first major tournament since 1998. Whilst he has a settled squad, those from Chelsea, Hibs and elsewhere will want to stake their claims for a place in his team.
The race to make the Scotland squad for Euro 2020 is already on. Here are six outside bets for Clarke’s team.
Billy Gilmour – Chelsea
As already mentioned, Gilmour is surely one with a good shout if he can get back playing for Chelsea. He is ready to make his domestic return, following a brief Scotland U21s outing last week.
He’s been on the side line since July but his form last term at Chelsea showed how good he can be against elite opposition. Whilst Clarke is keen to be careful with his movement up the ranks, Gilmour could make himself hard to ignore, surely eager to face some of his domestic teammates when Scotland face England.
Kevin Nisbet – Hibs
Another player we have already referenced, Hibs’ in-form striker must fancy his chances. Ahead of him in this current squad are Oli McBurnie, Calum Patterson and Lawrence Shankland, all of whom he’s outscored comfortably this term.
Striker department is perhaps where the most places are up for grabs and Hibs’ top scorer should be in with a Euro 2020 shout.
Grant Hanley – Norwich City
Canaries skipper Hanley was supposed to be in Clarke’s November squad but pulled out through injury. Given the performances of those in defence in the last two camps, it’s a hard area to break into.
But Hanley would provide plenty of experience and Clarke could call upon him again next summer.
Robby McCrorie – Livingston
Clarke’s had the Livingston stopper in squads before to aid his development. Each of Scotland’s keepers are in their mid-30s and for the likes of Craig Gordon, perhaps even David Marshall, this could be their first and last tournament.
McCrorie is regarded as the nation’s next top keeper and Clarke could bring him along for a learning trip.
Lewis Morgan – Inter Miami
Wide players are a tricky one. Clarke likes playing in a 3-5-2 system, and given that James Forrest is still to return on top of the quality presented by Andy Robertson, Stephen O’Donnell, Kieran Tierney and more, getting a spot on the flanks could be tricky.
Morgan has proven versatile in recent seasons though and his form in the MLS may not go unnoticed, scoring five with five assists so far this term.
Ryan Gauld – SC Farense
Midfield is a packed area already, especially if you throw Chelsea man Gilmour into the mix. But the form of Gauld is catching the eye in Portugal as he starts to realise his undoubted potential.
He was Player of the Year in the Portuguese second tier last term and has took to Primeira Liga life like a duck to water, scoring two with three assists in seven games.