Aaron Hickey pulls out of Scotland Under-21s squad; Josh Doig ready to step in

Former Hearts full-back Aaron Hickey has once again withdrawn from the Scotland Under-21s squad ahead of the European Championship qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belgium.

By Anthony Brown
Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:51 pm
Aaron Hickey has pulled out of the Scotland Under-21 squad after a heavy schedule of matches for Bologna. Picture: Mario Carlini / Getty Images
Aaron Hickey has pulled out of the Scotland Under-21 squad after a heavy schedule of matches for Bologna. Picture: Mario Carlini / Getty Images

Head coach Scot Gemmill revealed that the 19-year-old Bologna left-back has asked to be excused from international duty so he can rest.

It means Hickey, who has been linked with a move to AC Milan recently, has pulled out of every Scotland Under-21 squad in which he has been included since his first call-up a year ago.

Gemmill explained that he takes Hickey's reasons for withdrawing at face value and has no plans to exclude the former Hearts player from future squads as a result.

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He said: "Aaron's not injured. He's asked to rest. He thinks he's played a lot of games. He had surgery in the summer and he feels he needs to prepare for his next game in Serie A.

"I take that at face value, absolutely. I think we have to respect his decision. He's a young player who knows himself what he needs.

"I have to concentrate on the players that are here. We've obviously got big games coming up on Friday and Tuesday so we're just concentrating on preparing the players that are here and hopefully we get to work with Aaron in the future."

Gemmill confirmed that Hibs defender Josh Doig, who has been in isolation following the recent Covid outbreak at his club, is now free to join up with the squad in preparation for the double-header at Tannadice against Kazakhstan on Friday and Belgium next Tuesday.