Glasgow (AFP) – Scotland manager Steve Clarke believes Southampton striker Che Adams can have a “long and distinguished” international career after he was named in the Clarke’s squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.
The former England Under-20 international previously rejected an approach by the Scottish Football Association to switch allegiances.
However, Adams, who has scored seven times in the Premier League this season for the Saints, has now committed to the Scotland cause just three months before their first major international tournament in 22 years.
“It’s the right time first of all because he showed an inclination to play for Scotland. That makes a big, big difference,” said Clarke.
“We spoke about the future. We didn’t speak just about the near future, we spoke about the far future. For me Che, at 24 years of age, can hopefully go on to have a long and hopefully distinguished Scotland career.”
Hibernian striker Kevin Nisbet has also received a first call-up, while Celtic defender Jack Hendry is in the squad after impressing on loan for Belgian side Oostende.
Clarke has otherwise largely kept faith with the players who qualified for Euro 2020 for the upcoming games against Austria, Israel and the Faroe Islands.
And Clarke dismissed suggestions that other players would be resentful after Adams, who has a Scottish grandparent, decided to switch allegiances just before the Euros.
“The player himself is excited to be coming to play for Scotland and hopefully the lads in the squad will realise that Che can bring something a little bit different,” added Clarke.
“I think it will certainly make the squad better and hopefully will make the team better as well.”
Scotland host Austria on March 25 and play Israel away three days later. They return to Hampden Park for their match against the Faroes on March 31.