Robbie Muirhead tipped to make Scots U-21s with Hearts

Robbie Neilson featured at Scotland Under-19 level. Pic: SNS
Robbie Neilson featured at Scotland Under-19 level. Pic: SNS
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Scotland Under-21 coach Ricky Sbragia expects Robbie Muirhead to enjoy a new lease of life at Hearts and quickly return to international football.

Sbragia will monitor the forward’s progress at Tynecastle and hopes to call him into the Under-21 squad early next season.

Muirhead, 20, signed a one-year Hearts contract on Monday aiming to recapture the form he showed as a teenager at Kilmarnock. He has been capped at every age level by Scotland from under-15 through to under-19, and Sbragia wants him involved with the Under-21s if he plays regularly in Edinburgh.

After a difficult spell at Dundee United, where he barely played and was loaned out to Partick Thistle, the striker now has a chance to reignite his career. Sbragia coached him with Scotland Under-19s and feels he has the potential to break into the Under-21 squad.

“He can get involved with Scotland again, definitely,” Sbragia said. “Things in football don’t always work for you and it’s a testing time. I think Robbie’s been through that. This is a new lease of life for him. It’s a great move for him and a great move for Hearts. I think they’ll see the best of Robbie. He’s young, he’s still at that development stage because he isn’t a senior player. They’ve seen that he’s an extremely good player and I think he’ll be good for Hearts.

“I’m glad for him because it means we can pick him up again with Scotland. You can’t pick somebody who isn’t involved at all. We know all about him and we’ll definitely look at him. I’m very open to that with everyone. I think Robbie can bring something into our group. He’s a left-footed forward and that helps.

“Jason Cummings is in there with the Under-21s just now and he’s done well. The more we get, it becomes harder for me to pick my squad. I need players to play week in and week out. People talk about the development of players but the development is playing football. It’s playing minutes on the field, that is development. All the training and tactics help, but development is when you bring that into a game.

“I think Robbie has probably missed that a little bit with his Dundee United move. I’m glad he’s moved on. Hearts have got a good player and it’s a fantastic move for them.”