Football

Scotland: Steve Clarke disappointed Celtic won’t release players

Calvin Ramsay has made one final substitute appearance since joining Liverpool from Aberdeen

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke says he is disappointed with Celtic’s decision not to 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 right-back Calvin Ramsay a first call-up to the 23-man squad, while midfielder Ryan Jack is included despite missing recent Rangers games due to injury.

“The bottom line is that it’s not an official international window,” Clarke said.

“Clubs do not have to release their players and Celtic have chosen not to do so for this match.”

While Celtic and Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor is out injured, Greg Taylor, David Turnbull and Anthony Ralston were all out of the squad.

“I have to say I’m disappointed in that decision, but I have to accept it and it’s an opportunity for someone else,” Clarke added.

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

Liverpool captain Andy Robertson 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 are 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 take a look at it,” Clarke said. “I know what he did at Aberdeen. He got a fantastic move to Liverpool and made his Liverpool debut at Anfield in the Champions League. Not a bad start.”

“He had an interrupted start because Liverpool found an injury that they treated well and gave him time to get ahead.

“I’m missing a couple of players at that position anyway, with Aaron Hickey injured and Tony Ralston unavailable. It’s an opportunity to put Calvin on the team and take a look at him.”

Next Wednesday’s game in Diyarbakir is Scotland’s only scheduled game 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 March 25.

scotland squad

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

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

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