Steve Clarke ‘happy’ as Elliot Anderson opts to play for Scotland over England | Scotland

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Steve Clarke has revealed that Newcastle midfielder Elliot Anderson decided against switching allegiance to England following positive discussions with the Scotland manager ahead of his first senior call-up. Anderson has been called into Clarke’s squad for the Euro 2024 qualifier against Cyprus, and a friendly against England next month.

Anderson has represented Scotland at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level prior to playing a training-ground friendly for England Under-19s against Arsenal Under-23s in 2021. The attacking midfielder made a sole Scotland Under-21 appearance against Belgium in June 2022 before turning down further call-ups from Scot Gemmill as he considered his international future.

But Anderson was a surprise inclusion in Clarke’s squad after coming off the bench in all three of Newcastle’s Premier League matches this season.
The Whitley Bay-born 20-year-old, who has a Scottish grandmother, is included ahead of the likes of David Turnbull, who has not been in recent squads but has been back in the Celtic team under Brendan Rodgers.

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“Elliot has been through the under-age groups with Scotland, he is one we have had an eye on,” Clarke said. “He had a little think about choosing between Scotland and England. 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.

“Obviously when you get to a certain stage in your career and you can see your career is starting to take off, which Elliot’s is at Newcastle … you have to make that choice. Elliot was born in England, he has got decisions to make, and we are just happy he has come down on our side.”

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Ben Doak joined Liverpool from Celtic and, aged, 17, is a highly-regarded prospect
Ben Doak joined Liverpool from Celtic and, aged, 17, is a highly-regarded prospect. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

Clarke also gave hope to Liverpool winger Ben Doak that the 17-year-old was not far off a full call-up. “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,” said the manager. “I just feel 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.”

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Che Adams is back in the 25-man squad after missing victories over Norway and Georgia in June through injury. There is, however, no place for Blackburn’s Dominic Hyam and Celtic full-backs Anthony Ralston and Greg Taylor, but Nottingham Forest centre-back Scott McKenna returns following injury.

Leeds defender Liam Cooper drops out after being ruled out for eight weeks with a foot injury earlier this month, while Ross McCrorie misses out after being a late call-up in the summer.

Scotland are looking to continue their 100% record in the Euro 2024 qualifiers when they take on Cyprus in Larnaca in their fifth group game on 8 September. They then host England at Hampden Park four days later in a game to mark the 150th anniversary of football’s first international in 1872.

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