Hearts defender John Souttar called into Scotland squad after withdrawals

Hearts defender John Souttar has been rewarded for his excellent form at club level this season with a call-up to the Scotland squad.
John Souttar has impressed for Hearts this season.John Souttar has impressed for Hearts this season.
John Souttar has impressed for Hearts this season.

The 25-year-old centre-back, who has been capped three times for his country, has been one of the best defenders in the cinch Premiership this season and comes in for Norwich centre-back Grant Hanley, who is injured.

Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser is also out of the squad, but as yet a like-for-like replacement has not been summoned for him.

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Souttar, who was last capped by Scotland three years ago, has had to battle back from several Achilles injuries and is approaching the form that saw him tipped to be a regular in Scotland’s defence.

He was sent off in October 2018 when playing for Scotland away at Israel and has not featured since, mainly because of injury issues.

Souttar, whose Hearts contract expires next summer, joins club-mate and goalkeeper Craig Gordon in the squad.

Manager Steve Clarke was given a further boost with the news that Kieran Tierney, who has been suffering from an ankle injury, was fit enough to be on the bench for his club Arsenal on Sunday.

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Scotland are due to fly out to the La Finca resort in Spain for a small training camp, before the move on to Chisinau for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

A victory would secure Scotland’s place in next year’s play-offs for Qatar 2022 with a game to space in Group F ahead of the last match of the pool against leaders Denmark on Monday, November 15 at Hampden.