Scotland is a nation that’s had its football troubles, 20 years’ worth in fact. A country which hasn’t qualified for a major tournament since 1998! Luckily for Scotland, they do have a number of talented youngsters that could help them reach the promised land!
Billy Gilmour (Chelsea)
One of the nation’s youngest starlets is Billy Gilmour, the only person within this five born in this millennium. After being linked with Bayern Munich and Barcelona, the midfielder is currently on Chelsea’s books after moving from Rangers and hates the ‘wonderkid’ tag. The 17-year-old was training with the first team at Rangers at just 15 years old. Most notably, however, Gilmour made his Scotland under 21 debut in the 2018 Toulon Tournament in a 1-0 victory for the Scots over France, and after guiding Scotland to fourth-place, won “Revelation of the Tournament”, most definitely somebody to keep tabs on. Hopefully with a loan move and more regular first-team action, Gilmour can continue to progress through the ranks at this rapid rate.
Jack Harper (Malaga)
A Scotsman at Real Madrid? No, I can’t be reading that right. Well, you would be reading that right. Spanish-born Jack Harper qualifies to play for Scotland through his parents. After spending his youth career at Los Blancos & Brighton and Hove Albion, the 22-year-old is currently plying his trade with Malaga CF. After being compared with Robin van Persie, by former Scotland performance director Mark Wotte, he dreams of representing Scotland at a World Cup. Harper received his first call up to the under 21’s in March 2017 despite not making his first team Malaga debut until August 2018 in the Spanish second tier. It appears the only thing stopping him is his lack of first-team action at a higher level. The talent must be there given the academies he’s played in, it’s only a matter of time he gets more game time.
Scott McTominay (Manchester United)
Scott McTominay has broken into the first team of one of the biggest clubs in world football, being associated with Manchester United’s academy since the age of five. The Lancaster-born midfielder initially played as a centre forward in the earlier parts of his career before Warren Joyce, the-then United reserve manager, converted him to a central midfield player. He made his first Premier League appearance in May 2017, coming on as a substitute for Juan Mata against Arsenal in a 2-0 defeat to the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.
He seems to be highly-rated at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho pleading with Alex McLeish to select him for Scotland “because it looks like England might be missing him” in February 2018. His grandfather also revealed Sir Alex Ferguson wanted him to represent Scotland and in March, he made his first-team debut in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Costa Rica. Under contract with the Red Devils until June 2021, don’t be surprised to see him pull on a dark blue shirt time and time again.
Oliver Burke (West Bromwich Albion)
The most expensive Scotsman ever at £15 million. Kenny Dalglish, Denis Law, Graeme Souness, none of them were of the same value as Oliver Burke. The modern game is mad. A pacey winger, the 21-year-old Kirkcaldy born youngster broke through the Nottingham Forest academy and signed his first professional deal in September 2014. After a brief loan spell at Bradford City, it was the start of the 2016-17 season which would see interest in Burke rise. A whole host of clubs including Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Liverpool and both north London clubs eagerly following his development.
It was RB Leipzig that would get their hands on the winger, a rumoured £13 million fee and the offer of a five-year contract signified their belief in his talent. Despite a promising start, his time in Germany would be cut short as he would move to West Brom, prior to the Baggies’ relegation. Breaking his own record transfer fee for a Scotsman, he moved to the Midlands for more game time. Should he get it, Scotland could have an exciting burst of pace down the right flank.
Kieran Tierney (Celtic)
The most mainstream British wonderkid around, what more is there to say about Kieran Tierney? Only an astronomical transfer fee would have to cause Celtic to sell given the fact he’s such a young age and has performed well both domestically and in Europe. The future is certainly very bright indeed as he’s already established as a full international. The Scotland captain has nicked his position, and yet, he still gets into the side. He’s a potential successor to Scott Brown as Celtic captain and appears to be of interest to some of Europe’s leading clubs.
Looking south of the border, Bournemouth, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are just a handful of the clubs that have been monitoring his progress. Juventus were also interested amidst fears Alex Sandro would leave Turin. In addition, he is playing for Glasgow Celtic, an iconic football team with a massive fan base worldwide. It’s safe to say Tierney will be a key player for the Scottish national team.