Two Hearts players in Scotland squad, Newcastle kid picks Scots over England, plus hope for Liverpool's Ben Doak
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Hearts captain Lawrence Shankland and goalkeeper Zander Clark are included in the Scotland squad to play Cyprus and England next month. The Tynecastle duo are part of a 25-man pool for the European Championship qualifier in Larnaca, followed by the 150th anniversary friendly at Hampden Park.
Also included is 20-year-old Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson, who chose to commit his international future to Scotland despite being eligible for England. “Elliot has been through the under-age groups with Scotland, he is one we have had an eye on,” explained national coach Steve Clarke. “He had a little think about choosing between Scotland and England.
“We had some good discussions with the boy and his family and he has chosen to come with us, which is good for us now and certainly good for us in the future. He has been with us in general. Obviously you get to a certain stage in your career and you can see your career is starting to take off, which Elliot’s is at Newcastle. We have got some great reports from people at Newcastle, which is good to hear.
“Then you have to make that choice. Elliot was born in England, he has got decisions to make, and we are just happy he has come down on our side. He has been involved in the under-age, he has played in the under-21s, so he has chosen to stay with us and hopefully that turns out to be a good decision for Elliot and ourselves
“I think it shows how well the boys that I have been picking on a regular basis have done. Qualification for Euro 2020 and obviously we are looking to qualify for another major tournament this time, and we hope we can continue to improve. I have always tried to give a pathway. We are not just having a squad for now but looking to build a squad that will carry us through not just the next tournament but the tournament after that and the tournament after that. Elliot is part of that process.”
Clarke also offered hope that 17-year-old Liverpool winger Ben Doak will get a full international call-up soon. “Anybody who is doing well for their club, especially at a club like Liverpool, playing off the bench in the English Premier League, they are always going to be close,” he said.
“I just feel that on this occasion, it was the right time to bring in Elliot. Ben knows that we are watching him, he knows that he is part of the future, but he has to continue doing what he is doing at his club, and he has to continue playing well. If he does that, I’m sure his turn won’t be too far away.”
GoalkeepersZander Clark (Hearts)Angus Gunn (Norwich City)Liam Kelly (Motherwell)
DefendersJack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq)Aaron Hickey (Brentford)Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest)Nathan Patterson (Everton)Ryan Porteous (Watford)Andy Robertson (Liverpool)John Souttar (Rangers)Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad)
MidfieldersElliot Anderson (Newcastle United)Stuart Armstrong (Southampton)Billy Gilmour (Brighton)Lewis Ferguson (Bologna)Ryan Jack (Rangers)John McGinn (Aston Villa)Callum McGregor (Celtic)Kenny McLean (Norwich City)Scott McTominay (Manchester United)
ForwardsChé Adams (Southampton)Ryan Christie (Bournemouth)Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers)Kevin Nisbet (Millwall)Lawrence Shankland (Hearts)