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Uncapped trio, including Chelsea midfielder, named in Scotland Euros squad

Billy Gilmour, Nathan Patterson and David Turnbull have been selected in 26-man provisional squad.

Image: PA

SCOTLAND BOSS STEVE Clarke has opted to put his faith in youth after naming the uncapped trio of Billy Gilmour, Nathan Patterson and David Turnbull in his squad for this summer’s European Championship.

Nineteen-year-olds Gilmour and Patterson and PFA Scotland young player of the year Turnbull, 21, have made the cut after being named in Clarke’s 26-man provisional squad.

Scotland are heading to their first major tournament in 23 years next month and will host the Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden either side of a trip to Wembley to face the Auld Enemy England.

Chelsea midfielder Gilmour has emerged as a star of the future after moving to Stamford Bridge from Rangers, featuring in a number of high-profile Premier League and European clashes.

Clarke had until now resisted the urge to hand the deep-lying playmaker a senior call-up but the Scotland Under-21 player will now get his chance to prove he can make his mark on the international stage.

Patterson is another highly-rated teen talent, with his Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard even claiming the defender was one of the nation’s “brightest prospects ever in terms of right-back”.

With just 16 appearances to his name, it was feared a four-game ban he received for breaching lockdown rules earlier this year would count him out but Clarke has decided to forgive and forget that indiscretion.

Celtic ace Turnbull has also impressed in his first year at Parkhead. In a season of darkness and despair for Hoops supporters, the former Motherwell midfielder has been the one shining light, contributing 10 goals and eight assists.

Speaking at a Hampden Park press conference, Clarke said the selection of the uncapped trio would “add something to the squad”.

He said: “Everyone goes to the training camp in Spain on a level footing. They’ve all got their chance to play their way into the team in the Euros.

“Nathan and David have caught the eye up here with their performances for Rangers and Celtic and I know Billy Gilmour, a player I’ve known for a long time, is very well regarded at Chelsea.

“It’s been nice to see him getting a few games recently and it looks as if he’s over his injury and looks like his old self.

“I’ve tried to stick with the nucleus of the squad, the camaraderie and togetherness was an important part of the qualification, and added three young ones who will liven it up a bit.”

Turnbull’s club team-mate James Forrest returns to the national team fold after a year of injury, while Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser is included despite his Magpies boss Steve Bruce admitting it would be a gamble for him to join Clarke’s squad having not kicked a ball since March due to a groin injury.

But there is disappointment for the likes of Liam Palmer, Leigh Griffiths, Lawrence Shankland and Andy Considine, who have all been involved recently.

Ryan Jack, Kenny McLean and Oli McBurnie had already been ruled out through injury.

And there is no place either for Ryan Gauld despite the Farense forward’s impressive form in Portugal this season.

Liverpool ace Andy Robertson will become the first man since Colin Hendry at the 1998 World Cup to lead out the Scots at a major tournament when he marches out of the Hampden tunnel to face the Czechs on June 14.

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David Marshall – whose vital spot-kick save from Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed qualification – is expected to start again in goal ahead of Craig Gordon and Jon McLaughlin.

Explaining his thought process on informing players that had missed out on selection, Clarke said: “I tend to only work on one camp back.

“I had two difficult phone calls with Andrew Considine and Liam Palmer, both obviously very disappointed but we have the opportunity to make changes to the squad up to the day of the first game of tournament.

“It’s a message for everybody who had the chance involved to stay fit because with the Covid situation and the injury situation, you never know.

“Maybe with the loss of Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean through injury I’ll have to tweak the shape of the midfield. As a coach that’s something I’ll look forward trying to do.”

On Scotland’s ambitions, Clarke said of his players: “If we can get out of the group stages in the tournament then they can become legends. So why not aim for that?

“Hopefully we can go there and cause a few problems for the other teams in the group.”

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