The Scottish national side are having a tough time in Euro 2020 qualifying at the moment. They don’t look like they’re going to do enough to qualify. Not from their current group anyway, it’s impossible now after the defeat to Belgium.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. For a start, the Nations League provides another way into Euro 2020, which the Scots could well take advantage of. If you’ve backed the Scots, we hope you cashed out a long time ago. A fun fact for you - Betfair was the pioneer of cash out. If you’ve backed Scotland to qualify with them or another other firm, cash out should still be an option as they still have a chance of qualifying for next summer’s showpiece.
Not only can they still qualify, but there’s a lot of young talent coming through to enthuse the Tartan Army regardless of whether they make it to Euro 2020 or not. The future’s bright. Let’s look at a couple of youngsters tipped to go all the way to the very top.
A youngster born in Spain who spent most of his youth career at Real Madrid. And he plays for Scotland? You read that right. Jack Harper has chosen to play for Scotland through his parents, and he’s enjoyed experiences at under 15, 17, and under 19 level with the national side. OK, so he’s 23 now, which isn’t exactly young, but he’s got bags of potential. He’s enjoyed a spell at Malaga, and he looked good there last season, but he’s now plying his trade on loan at Spanish second division side Alcorcon on loan from Getafe, whom he signed for this summer.
If Jack can get some games under his belt for Alcorcon and hit a nice run of form, Steve Clarke needs to keep a close eye on him. He wants to play at the World Cup with Scotland one day, that’s his dream. He has the passion and desire that fans love to see in young players. He feels he’s good enough but it’s just a case of continuing to play your football until you’re picked. There are no guarantees in football, you have to earn it.
At just 18, Billy Gilmour has already had a taste of Premier League football. After leaving Rangers back in 2017, he switched to the Chelsea youth set up and has trained hard and caught the eye in a lot of youth games in the last 18 months. He got his reward by coming on as a substitute for Tammy Abraham against Sheffield United only a few weeks ago, and there’s much more to come from him.
He’s played for Scotland at all levels since the under 15s, and was most notably picked to receive the ‘Revelation of the Tournament’ award at the Toulon tournament last year for the Under 21s. Unfortunately for the Scots, they were knocked out by England in the semi-final.
With Chelsea’s strength in depth, you could argue that Billy would benefit from going out on loan somewhere to get more first team action and regular football under his belt. As soon as he starts playing more frequently, he’ll earn his first cap for Scotland, there’s no doubt about it.
Fully Capped Youngsters
There’s a lot of potential in the two lads mentioned above, but there are a few young players that have already made the grade at international level – Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay, and Oliver Burke. All three are 22, which shows just how much young ability there is in the squad now. Greg Taylor at 21 years old is another one who’s earned a full international cap but still has years to improve and grow.
Steve Clarke has a really tough job. Any international manager has a really tough job. There are so many players to choose from that you have to rely on your staff to keep an eye on how the youngsters are doing at their respective clubs. The Euros might come too soon for Jack and Billy, but why not give them both a chance at international level during the next World Cup qualifying campaign if they’re both playing well? Watch this space.