As the conversation continues to rage over two Rangers-linked teenagers in Scotland, two English kids were lighting up the Champions League as Man City defeated Dortmund.

There’s been much talk regarding the situations involving both Rangers full-back Nathan Patterson, 19, and ex-Gers-midfielder-turned-Chelsea-wonderkid Billy Gilmour, also 19.

Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One

The Champions League quarter-final between Man City and Borussia Dortmund showcased two of England’s brightest young talents. (Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Both signposted as major talents for their respective clubs, some are uncomfortable with the idea that Scotland isn’t bleeding them early.

As it stands both are without a senior call-up let alone a cap.


Contrast this with England, where exposure to the Three Lions first-team – despite not always being in the squad for their clubs – has helped Man City’s Phil Foden and Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham continue to flourish.

Foden, 20, added to his late first leg Champions League quarter-final strike in the Etihad – in a 2-1 win which handed City an advantage in Germany – with another goal in the Westfalenstadion.

It levelled the scoreline for City in a match they’d eventually win 2-1, securing safe passage to the semi-finals for the first time under Pep Guardiola.

Bellingham – who despite being only 17 continues to impress with BVB after a £25m summer move from Birmingham [talkSPORT] – scored the opener for the Germans and also had a goal cruelly disallowed in the first leg.

Both players stole the show and the headlines in this match with England’s future certainly bright so long as these two are part of it.

England Training Session

Bellingham (centre, 2 caps) and Foden (right, 6 caps 2 goals) are both already part of the England set-up. (Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

So why is Scotland havering over the inclusion – at least in the squad over the XI – of the two players signposted as the most likely to reach the highest level?

Call it consolidation, call it pragmatism, but however you spin it there’s evidence that bleeding players young is benefiting the top footballing nations.

Not only that, but it’s clearly benefitting the players themselves.

It’s not just in England – 18-year-old Ansu Fati is another example with Barcelona and Spain – where making bold decisions on young players is bearing fruit for club and country.


Are Scotland making a mistake not involving young players like Nathan Patterson from an early age? (Photo by ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Scotland might not be a top footballing nation, but perhaps we’re selling ourselves short by not putting early trust in the nation’s future.

The conversation continues to rage regarding both Nathan Patterson’s and Billy Gilmour’s Scotland chances, but both will be boosted by some extra openings in the squad.

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