Chelsea’s Midfielder can ‘influence games’: Coach admits

Chelsea’s 17-year-old Billy Gilmour is in the Scotland Under-21 squad because he has proved he can “influence games” at that level, says coach Scot Gemmill.

The former Rangers midfielder was named ‘Revelation of the Tournament’ at the Toulon competition this summer.

He is in a 22-man squad for qualifiers for the European Under-21 Championship against Andorra on 6 September and the Netherlands five days later.

“Billy took his chance and showed he can be trusted to play,” said Gemmill.

“He’s showed at every age level so far that it’s very comfortable for him but we want to keep challenging him.”

Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson has been selected for the first time and could win his first cap, along with Hibernian striker Oli Shaw, St Mirren midfielder Kyle Magennis and Reading defender Tom McIntyre.

Hearts centre-back John Souttar has been included, although he – and any other player – could still be named next Monday in Alex McLeish’s senior squad for the games with Belgium and Albania.

Scotland are three points adrift of the Dutch and a further eight behind England with four games remaining in the group.

Should they make amends for March’s draw in Andorra by winning at Tynecastle on 6 September, then beat the Dutch in Doetinchem, Gemmill’s squad would travel to Ukraine and host England in October’s double-header with their qualification hopes still intact.

Scotland Under-21 squad

Goalkeepers: Ryan Fulton (Hamilton Academical), Robby McCrorie (Rangers), Ross Doohan (Celtic, on loan to Ayr United).

Defenders: Tom McIntyre (Reading), Ryan Porteous (Hibernian), Liam Smith (Ayr United), John Souttar (Hearts), Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock), Ryan Williamson (Dunfermline Athletic).

Midfielders: Ross McCrorie (Rangers), Chris Cadden, Allan Campbell (both Motherwell), Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Michael Johnston (Celtic), Stephen Mallan (Hibernian), Kyle Magennis (St Mirren), Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock).

Forwards: Oliver Burke (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Hornby (Everton), Oli Shaw (Hibernian), Scott Wright (Aberdeen).

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