Scotland: Steve Clarke disappointed with Celtic not releasing players

Calvin Ramsay

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke says he is disappointed with Celtic’s decision to not release players for next week’s friendly in Turkey.

Celtic play a friendly tournament in Australia during the World Cup break.

Clarke has given 19-year-old Liverpool full-back Calvin Ramsay a first call-up in the 23-man squad, while midfielder Ryan Jack is included despite missing recent Rangers matches due to injury.

“The base line is it’s not an official International window,” said Clarke.

“The clubs don’t have to release their players and Celtic have chosen not to for this game.”

While Celtic and Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor is injured, the likes of Greg Taylor, David Turnbull and Anthony Ralston were prevented from being called up by their club.

“I have to say I’m disappointed with that decision, but I have to take it on the chin and it’s a chance for someone else,” added Clarke.

“It was just a blanket decision. Celtic have said that none of their players are available for any international games [next week]. So all the countries are affected.”

Captain Andy Robertson of Liverpool and Everton right-back Nathan Patterson return from injury.

Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson is included along with Ryan Porteous after the Hibernian defender made his debut in the recent 0-0 draw against Ukraine.

Josh Doig, Declan Gallagher, Aaron Hickey, Stephen Kingsley and Lawrence Shankland miss out.

Ramsay, who moved to Anfield from Aberdeen for an initial £4.2m in June, is called up after making his Liverpool debut off the bench against Napoli last week.

“I want to have a look at him,” said Clarke. “I know what he did at Aberdeen. He got a fantastic move to Liverpool and made his debut for Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League. It’s not a bad start.

“He had an interrupted start because Liverpool found an injury that they have treated well and given him time to come through.

“I am missing a couple of players in that position anyway, with Aaron Hickey injured and Tony Ralston unavailable. Its’ a chance to put Calvin in the squad and have a look at him.”

Next Wednesday’s match in Diyarbakir is Scotland’s only scheduled fixture before the start of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

The Scots have been drawn with Spain, Norway, Georgia and Cyprus, opening at home to the latter on 25 March.

Scotland squad

Table of Contents

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon, Liam Kelly, Robby McCrorie

Defenders: Grant Hanley, Jack Hendry, Scott McKenna, Nathan Patterson, Ryan Porteous, Calvin Ramsay, Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong, Lewis Ferguson, Billy Gilmour, Ryan Jack, John McGinn, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay

Forwards: Che Adams, Jacob Brown, Ryan Christie, Lyndon Dykes, Ryan Fraser

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