While David Bates admits his main focus is on keeping his place in the Rangers team, the defender also believes this Sunday’s Old Firm showdown could lead to a Scotland call-up further down the line.
The 21-year-old struggled for game time at the start of the season, with Bruno Alves and Fabio Cardoso given the nod to form a defensive partnership by former boss Pedro Caixinha.
However, since replacing an injured Alves during the last Old Firm clash, Bates has went from strength to strength and is now considered one of the first names on the team sheet after a string of impressive performances.
With Alex McLeish replacing Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager last month and with the national team facing an overhaul with plenty of youngsters coming through the ranks, Bates has been mentioned as a possible option at centre-back.
Matches against Costa Rica and Hungary may come too soon for Bates, who has made just 16 senior appearances for Rangers, but there’s no doubting he has the potential for a spot in the squad.
And Bates believes the big matches, like this weekend’s clash with Celtic, offer every player the chance to prove their qualities to McLeish:
Bates confesses that he hasn’t been in touch with McLeish over a call-up since he took charge.
And with John Souttar, Christophe Berra, Ross McCrorie, Jack Hendry and Scott McKenna all in the conversation, Bates may need to be at his very best this weekend to stand a chance of being involved in Scotland’s immediate future.