By Michael McDermott
On 19 May 2021, a Scotland squad was announced for a major tournament for the first time in over 20 years with Steve Clarke announcing the 26 players he will be taking to the rescheduled Euro 2020.
There were no surprises with some of the former Killie managers picks however though with UEFA confirming an increase on the standard 23-man squads and with injuries to players who would have most likely been part of the squad in Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack, and Oli McBurnie there was an opportunity for some players who would have possibly just missed out.
Let us take a look at 5 surprise players who could make a big impact for the tartan army this summer:
Billy Gilmour, 19, Central Midfielder
The former Rangers academy player who has come through the Chelsea ranks has begun to make a name for himself in the blues first-team sporadically in the last couple of seasons and has been called up to Steve Clarke’s side for the first time.
The teenager has gained plenty of plaudits from some outstanding performances against some very top teams even picking up three man of the match performances in the space of seven games across three competitions with them coming in the league, cup and Europe.
At the age of 19, the midfielder has a huge future ahead of him and will be hoping to make an impact on the three group games and not just been brought along to sit on the bench.
David Turnbull, 21, Central Midfielder
Another uncapped midfielder who Steve Clarke has decided to call up for the first time for the Euros is Celtic’s, David Turnbull.
It took a while for the playmaker to break into the Celtic team this season following his move from Motherwell however after he did manage to get a couple of games it did not take long until he was one of the first names on the team sheet.
Turnbull would turn out to be one of the only shining lights in a dark and dismal season for Celtic and after winning the PFA Young Player of the Year and earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year he would be looking to make a big impact on the Scotland squad much like Billy Gilmour.
Nathan Patterson, 19, Right Back
The third and final uncapped player to make into the 26-man squad is Rangers teenage right-back, Nathan Patterson.
Much like Turnbull, this season has also seen Patterson break into the Rangers starting 11, after making his debut the previous season, all be it playing much fewer games than his old firm counterpart however having much more success in both Europe and the league as Rangers won their first title in 10 years and made it to the last 16 of the Europa League.
Patterson will be challenging Motherwell full-back Stephen O’Donnell for a starting place at the Euros and the uncapped teen will be fancying his chances after a flurry of top performances towards the end of the season.
Ché Adams, 24, Striker
The Leicester born U20 England international only pledged his allegiance to Scotland this year despite Scotland also trying in 2017 to call up the forward, making three appearances and scoring an impressive long-range goal against the Faroe Islands in his first call up.
Adams has impressed in spells since making his £15 million move from Birmingham City and has 20 goal contributions all from open play in his first two seasons. He has managed to bag some goals against some of the top teams including one in a 3-3 draw with Chelsea.
The striker will be up against QPR man Lyndon Dykes for a starting place up top who has also been in good form in the closing stages of the season and has performed well for Steve Clarke’s men in the qualifying process.
James Forrest, 29, Winger
After not playing for the national team since April 2020, largely due to injury, the Celtic winger has been named in the squad for the two friendlies and three group games.
Missing out most of this season with Celtic as well as the qualifiers against Israel and Serbia there were doubts on if Clarke would bring the 29-year-old to the tournament however after managing to bag a couple of goals on his return from injury for Celtic the Scotland boss has brought him along with Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser for natural width in the team.
Forrest has shown in the past that he can perform for Scotland bagging five goals in two games for the tartan army back in 2018 and everyone will be hoping he can bring that kind of form to the Euros as he could be one of Steve Clarke’s most useful players both starting and coming off the bench to make an impact this summer.