Man United's Scott McTominay Explains Why He Rejected England
Despite having made only a handful of first-team appearances for Manchester United, the international preference of Scott McTominay had become a topic of great interest in recent weeks.
With England's Gareth Southgate making it clear that he was keeping an eye on McTominay, the United midfielder has opted against playing for the country of his birth and will now be open to selection by Alex McLeish and Scotland.
According to The Times, McTominay had sat down with both Southgate and McLeish ahead of making his decision.
Although he was impressed with Southgate's pitch, "a combination of heart and head" have led to him choosing Scotland nonetheless:
McTominay is answering an emotional pull towards Scotland - his father is proudly Scottish - and he believes Scotland offer him the chance to carve out a significant international career.
With Scotland requiring something of a shake-up following a disappointing conclusion to Gordan Strachan's reign, McLeish is clearly attempting to inject the squad with some young prospects.
Set to include the United man in his first squad, McLeish "wants to build a new team and McTominay has the opportunity to be at its heart."
While the choice will represent a practical one given the number of competitors McTominay would have been faced with had he opted for England, given the recent performances of young Scots like Kieran Tierney at Celtic, Andrew Robertson at Liverpool, Ryan Fraser at Bournemouth and Jason Cummings at Rangers, there certainly is potential for improvement.
Having not qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, there is a desperation among Scotland fans for things to improve as soon as possible.
McTominay ultimately believes that he can be a positive part of this development.