Billy Gilmour has given Scotland boss Steve Clarke a selection headache heading into their Euro 2020 opener, says Steven Naismith.
Having come off the bench for his senior debut in last Wednesday’s draw with the Netherlands, Gilmour again impressed as an impact sub in Scotland’s final warm-up game against Luxembourg.
Scotland face the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Monday in their opening Group D fixture and despite the competition in places in midfield, former striker Naismith believes the 19-year-old can force his way into the starting line-up.
“He will be the one giving the manager the biggest headache,” said Naismith, who won 51 caps for Scotland.
“If you look over the squad, set-up and team selection over the past 18 months, it’s been fairly consistent in the big games. The manager has maybe had a choice of 12 or 14 players that have always started.
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“Billy is an exceptional talent. He is somebody who has come into the international scene and made an impact in a short period of time.
“Not only that, he has gone into the part of the pitch where we have the most competition for places.
“I think he will get his chance in one of these games. He might need to wait and just build over this camp.
“He has shown up very well and going into the competitive games, he’s somebody who is very good on the ball, is hungry to get the ball, and wants to go forward and penetrate teams. That is a big asset of his.
“I’m sure the other boys in the middle of the park will be trying to keep him out.”
Che Adams scored the winner in Sunday’s win over Luxembourg, his second goal in four appearances for Scotland.
The Southampton striker formed a promising partnership with Lyndon Dykes and Naismith hopes Clarke persists with two players up front.
“Adams is somebody we’ve missed,” said Naismith, who scored 10 goals for Scotland.
“We’ve not had that profile of player over the last five, six years.
“He enjoys playing with another striker, as much as he can hold the ball up and be that focal point.
“He also enjoys running at defences and getting past them, being dynamic and changing the point of attack. That’s where I’ve seen him play his best football for Scotland.
“He’s a goal threat. It’s exciting to get both of them on the pitch.”
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