Scotland’s hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020 look dead and buried after the defeats by Russia and Belgium – and Scotland boss Steve Clarke should throw caution to the wind with his next squad and call the likes of Rangers duo Ross McCrorie and Glenn Middleton into his squad.

Back-to-back Hampden defeats leave Steve Clarke’s side relying on making it through the playoffs to reach next summer’s finals and it’s time to stop relying on the same dross that have continually failed at international level.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 13: Ross McCrorie of Rangers and Veton Berisha of Rapid during the UEFA Europa League match between SK Rapid Wien v Rangers at Weststadion on December 13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

(Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

There are a number of talented youngsters in the under-21 set up like Middleton, McCrorie and Chelsea wonderkid Billy Gilmour and those are the sort of players Clarke should turn to.

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Gilmour’s Chelsea team-mate Ethan Ampadu is proof that there can be real benefits to giving young players their chance even if they aren’t playing regularly at club level.

Ampadu is already a Wales regular, and has ever-increasing importance in Ryan Giggs’ side, despite barely featuring for Chelsea and having yet to play a minute on loan for RB Leipzig this season.


The Welshman has high expectations on him but rather than wait to introduce him to the senior set-up, Giggs has taken the plunge already and is reaping the benefits.


McCrorie and Middleton both have a decent amount of experience at club level for Rangers with both having played in Old Firm games and in Europe so away Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino shouldn’t faze them in the slightest.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 13: Mert Muelduer of Rapid and Glenn Middleton of Rangers during the UEFA Europa League match between Rapid Wien and Rangers at Weststadion on December 13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

(Photo by Johann Schwarz/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Sticking with the likes of Charlie Mulgrew, Matt Phillips and others who have continually failed to deliver on the international stage is only going to see Scotland continue to be an irrelevance.

Clarke might as well take a gamble and see what the talented youngsters in the under-21s can do while he has nothing else to lose.

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