Lawrence Shankland is the big story coming out of Scotland‘s latest squad announcement.
Steve Clarke named his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino.
And it includes Shankland, who has been in red hot form with Dundee United this season.
It’s a big story because Shankland is a Scottish Championship player – the only one named in the squad.
But here’s why we believe the Arabs striker is absolutely deserving of his call-up:
He Simply Scores Goals
Forget the level, Shankland’s goalscoring form in the Championship shows he has a natural talent for finding the back of the net – and that is something Scotland has to utilise. He’s got 15 goals in 12 appearances for Dundee United this season – his most recent being a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Morton. Last season, it was 34 in 41 appearances for Ayr – a side far from dominating the league.
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Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020 from this group are over – and it’s all now about the Nations League route of qualification. Therefore, Clarke has to be thinking about building a team capable of getting through those qualifiers. By capping Shankland now, it gives the striker experience of playing with the national team and brings even more attention to what he’s doing in the Championship with Dundee United.
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Look at John McGinn back when he got his debut in 2016. He was a Hibs player appearing in the Championship at the time and his call-up was met in a similar way to Shankland by many in the Scottish game. Look at McGinn now. He’s got 16 caps, must be considered as one of Clarke’s best players and is a star for Aston Villa in the Premier League. There’s no doubt his early breakthrough with Scotland helped his development.
He Can Do This
And Do This
Just Look at His Hat-Trick From the Weekend
A Bigger Move Couldn’t Be Far Away
There were reports earlier this week that Shankland is interesting both Celtic and Rangers. That’s according to The Daily Record. Whether it’s true or not remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt a Scotland cap will only convince more teams to take a chance on the striker.
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If you look at the squad Clarke has named, there’s just one Scotland goal between the three main strikers. There’s absolutely no doubt that Scotland need strikers and goals from whoever they get so Shankland has to get his chance.
Scotland fans – are you excited to see Shankland in the national team?