Scots in the EPL – 2019-20
Like it or not, the English Premier League is one of the most watched leagues in the world where teams packed with international footballers go head to head every week.
For the good of the Scotland National team it's important to have as many players as possible in the EPL, competing and thriving.
Here, we assess the prospects of the 14 Scottish players who will line up for EPL sides in the 19 / 20 season. We'll keep a close eye on their progress over the course of the season:
Current / Recent Scotland Internationals
Andy Robertson – LB – Liverpool - 29 caps Scotland's captain and leader. 18/19 was a defining season for Robertson, shaking of the specter of Alberto Moreno and establishing himself as first choice LB at Anfield.
He played 36 games in the league, providing 11 assists before ending the season lifting the Champions League trophy in Madrid. For Scotland, he has assumed the responsibility of the captaincy in the best way, leading from the front by scoring the opening goal in Steve Clarke's first game against Cyprus.
Perhaps the only way this season could outshine last for Scotland's captain would be ending it by leading out his country at Euro 2020.
Kieran Tierney - LB - Arsenal - 12 caps The Bhoy has finally gone South. After a long summer of speculation, a record breaking deal was finally agreed for Tierney on deadline day. He joins the North London side as the most valuable Scotland player of all time.
Once he has recovered from injury he will slot straight into the Arsenal side, looking to feed chances to team-mates such as Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Suffice to say, much is expected of the young Scot.
One does not envy Steve Clarke the headache of how to fit Arsenal and Liverpool's starting left backs into the same Scotland side.
Ryan Fraser – LW – AFC Bournemouth - 9 caps Like Andy Robertson, 18/19 was an incredible season for the former Aberdeen winger. Fraser combined with Callum Wilson for more goals than any other pairing in the league, and the most since Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer for Blackburn. In fact, only Eden Hazard provided more than Fraser's 14 league assists.
After a summer of transfer rumour, Fraser will remain at Bournemouth for the time being and will look to carry his form from last season.
He scored his first goal for Scotland in 18/19 away in Albania and will look to cement his place in Steve Clarke's plans.
Scott McTominay – CM – Manchester United - 9 caps The 22 year old midfielder saw his reputation grow in 18/19, making 9 starts and 7 substitute appearances in the EPL.
It was his performance in the away leg against Paris St Germain as Manchester United progressed against the odds that really caught the attention.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær's remit at Manchester United includes promoting United's younger players and McTominay will hope for more opportunities to impress this season.
Matt Ritchie – RM – Newcastle United - 16 caps Ritchie was an ever-present for Rafa Benitez's side last season, providing 2 goals and 8 assists. He demonstrated his versatility filling in out wide and at left wing back.
Ritchie fell out of favour under previous Scotland managers, his last cap coming in Alex McLeish's first game back against Costa Rica at Hampden. While Ritchie's international intentions are unclear, strong EPL form will force Steve Clarke to take notice of the one-time winner of Scotland goal of the year.
Stuart Armstrong – CM – Southampton FC - 14 caps The owner of the best hair in Scottish football enjoyed a stop-start season for Southampton in 18/19, his playing time impacted by the emergence of James Ward-Prowse. While he played in most games he was limited to 16 starts and 13 substitute appearances.
The team saw an upsurge in form when Ralph Hasenhüttl took over, Armstrong must look to ride that wave of optimism in the side to establish himself in the first team in the new season.
Oliver McBurnie – CF – Sheffield United - 7 caps Mcburnie arrives in the Steel City from Swansea where he just enjoyed the best season of his career. You can read more about McBurnie in the Tartan Scarf Transfer Review here.
John McGinn – CM – Aston Villa - 15 caps Or, to give him his full title, Super John McGinn. He enjoyed an incredible debut season with Aston Villa in 18/19, scoring 7 (including a goal of the season contender vs Sheffield Wednesday) and assisting 9 in a season that ended with promotion secured at Wembley. McGinn also ended the season with Villa's player of the year award on his mantle.
From the Scottish Championship to the Premiership to the English Championship and now the EPL, McGinn has risen to every challenge. Given his debut by Gordon Strachan, McGinn established himself as a key player for Scotland under Alex McLeish and will hope to find a similar role under Steve Clarke.
Kenny McLean – CM – Norwich City - 7 caps McLean's Scotland career has had a few stops and starts along the way. Making his debut under Gordon Strachan in 2016, it wasn't until 2019 under Alex McLeish that he made his competitive debut.
He scored his first international goal that night in San Marino. He has played the full 90 minutes in Steve Clarke's first two games in charge and will hope promising performances in the EPL will retain his place.
Former / Uncapped Scotland Internationals
Robert Snodgrass – RW – West Ham United - 26 caps Snodgrass enjoyed a renaissance at West Ham under Manuel Pellegrini last season, seeing game time after Felipe Anderson's injury.
He was last capped in the 2018 friendly against Belgium at Hampden, with his last competitive cap coming in Slovenia at the end of the World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign.
James McArthur – CM – Crystal Palace - 32 caps McArthur was an ever-present for Crystal Palace last season, scoring 3 and setting up 6 goals from his central midfield position.
Like Snodgrass, his last cap came in Slovenia. Steve Clarke said at his unveiling that all players would be welcomed back should they wish, a player of McArthur's experience could certainly be useful to the National team.
John Fleck – CM – Sheffield United - 0 caps The only uncapped player on this list, Fleck played a key role in Sheffield United's promotion from the Championship, playing all but one league game and providing 10 assists from midfield. He'll look to link up with fellow Scot Oliver McBurnie this season. A lot was expected of Fleck when he broke through at Rangers as a teenager, it looks like he's now living up to that early promise.
Grant Hanley – CB – Norwich City - 30 caps Hanley, a mainstay of the Scotland side between 2013 and 2016 has seen his international opportunities limited in recent years. His last competitive start came in the 3-0 reverse at Wembley in 2016.
Last season for Norwich he started 6 league games so opportunities to impress in the EPL may be similarly limited.
Phil Bardsley – RB – Burnley - 13 caps Given his debut by Craig Levein in 2010, Bardsley played most of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign before falling out of favour under Gordon Strachan.
Since then, Bardsley has been a consistent EPL performer for Sunderland, Stoke and now Burnley. In recent seasons has has averaged 50% of EPL starts, making it harder to consider him for international selection.