Scotland call up Elliot Anderson for matches with Cyprus & England

28 August 2023 0 By Total Football News

Newcastle United midfielder Elliot AndersonNewcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson could play for Scotland against England at Hampden

Scotland manager Steve Clarke revealed a first call up for Elliot Anderson came after “good discussions” with the Newcastle midfielder and his family.

The 20-year-old is in the squad for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifier in Cyprus and a friendly with England.

Born in Whitley Bay, he represented Scotland at youth level, qualifying through his grandmother.

“He had a little think about choosing between Scotland and England,” said Clarke.

“Elliot has been through the under-age groups with Scotland, he is one we have had an eye on.

“We had some good discussions with the boy and his family and he has chosen to come with us, which is good for us now and certainly good for us in the future.”

Anderson, used as a substitute in Newcastle’s first three Premier League outings this season, briefly switched allegiances to England Under-19s in 2021, but returned for one Scotland Under-21 appearance last year before turning down further calls at that level.

“We have got some great reports from people within the club at Newcastle,” continued Clarke.

“We’ve had a great start to the campaign and if you can blood players in good moments it’s probably easier than doing it difficult moments.

“He’s chosen to stay with us and hopefully that turns out to be a good decision for Elliot and ourselves.”

Scotland are well placed to reach Euro 2024, sitting top of Group A with maximum points after four matches.

Cyprus have opened with three defeats, including a 3-0 loss at Hampden in March.

Following the match in Larnaca on 8 September, Scotland host England four days later to commemorate the first meeting between the nations in 1872.

Watched by 4,000 spectators, the 0-0 draw at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, is officially recognised by Fifa as the first international match.

“A game against England takes care of itself,” said Clarke. “We want to challenge ourselves against the top nations, teams that get to the later stages of the major tournaments, but all of our focus is on Cyprus right now.”

Leeds United skipper Liam Cooper is missing through injury, while Celtic full-back Greg Taylor and Blackburn Rovers centre-half Dominic Hyam make way for the fit-again pair of Nathan Patterson and Scott McKenna.

Clarke said his squad was “a bit top heavy” with strikers while stressing that Liverpool teenager Ben Doak is in his thoughts.

“Anybody who is doing well for their club, especially at a club like Liverpool, playing off the bench in the Premier League, they are always going to be close,” he said. “I just felt that on this occasion, it was the right time to bring in Elliot.

“Ben knows that we are watching him, he knows that he is part of the future, but he has to continue doing what he is doing at his club, and he has to continue playing well. If he does that, I’m sure his turn won’t be too far away.”

Scotland squad:

Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Norwich), Liam Kelly (Motherwell), Zander Clark (Hearts)

Defenders: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad), Jack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq), Aaron Hickey (Brentford), Ryan Porteous (Watford), John Souttar (Rangers), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest), Nathan Patterson (Everton)

Midfielders: Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Lewis Ferguson (Bologna), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Ryan Jack (Rangers), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Kenny McLean (Norwich)

Forwards: Che Adams (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Lyndon Dykes (QPR), Lawrence Shankland (Hearts), Kevin Nisbet (Millwall)