Dark horses for Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad

Turnbull, Gilmour, Hickey

For the first time since Steps released their debut single and Titanic was at the box office, Scotland’s male footballers have a major tournament squad to try and earn places in.

There are some certain inclusions – the likes of Serbia penalty shoot-out hero David Marshall; Champions League and Premier League winner Andy Robertson; and Lyndon Dykes, the man who reinvigorated Scotland’s attacking play.

But there are plenty on the fringes whose inclusion could depend on how things unfold in the next few months. BBC Scotland looks at the potential contenders to make a late run for a place…

Ross McCrorie

What do Sporting Lisbon, Celtic and Motherwell have in common? They are the only teams that have managed to beat an Aberdeen team with McCrorie in it.

Aberdeen have been formidable with the 22-year-old in the side, keeping 12 clean sheets in McCrorie’s 20 appearances. And this generation’s Lee McCulloch is a versatile option, having been utilised at centre-back, right-back and midfield.

Ross McCrorie stats

He has experience of being around the Scotland squad after a recent call up, but a maiden cap is still to come. However, the youngster has captained the Under-21 side and has shown a knack for settling quickly into teams after an immediate impact at Aberdeen when he arrived in August.

A few more months of the consistency he has shown at Pittodrie, and he could be in Clarke’s thoughts.

Grant Hanley

Hanley has fallen out out of the national picture since his last appearance in the 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica in 2018 – Alex McLeish’s first match back in charge. He was called into the squad for the Serbia play-off and final Nations League matches, but had to pull out through injury.

He is a mainstay in the Norwich City side, who currently sit top of the English Championship with just four losses in 23 games. In his 19 appearances, only twice have his side conceded more than once and he was nominated for the division’s Player of the Month award in December.

On recent form, it would be hard to ignore Hanley as an option in a position Scotland are not blessed with options.

Billy Gilmour

The 19-year-old Chelsea midfielder has featured sporadically for Frank Lampard’s side, but is yet to put together a run of starts. In fact, he’s only made one this season having only returned in November from a lengthy injury lay off.

However, when he has played he has looked promising. His body movement and game awareness is beyond his years and there is a real buzz about a youngster described as “world class” by Roy Keane.

Gilmour is yet to feature for the national side, so his inclusion next summer heavily depends on how many times he is selected for his club from now until the end of the season – or perhaps whether he goes out on loan.

David Turnbull

Celtic’s in-form midfielder has been on a difficult road to recovery since an injury halted his move to the defending Premiership champions in 2019.

When the deal was eventually done in August, he struggled to break into the team, but he has now established himself in Neil Lennon’s side and has…

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