Five More Scots Who Could Develop Abroad


After Ryan Gauld’s big move to Sporting Lisbon this week I thought I’d see what other young Scots out there could interest European sides looking to bring in good Scottish talent.

As I’ve said on here many a time, I believe going to Portugal, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland or Belgium could really help our young players develop as long as they pick the right clubs. Going abroad, in my opinion, opens players eyes and gives them more experience. It adds to their skills and usually improves their technique. The players also start to think about tactics and the importance of training. For me, just being abroad and living a different culture will improve most players.

So here are five more potential Scottish stars who should look to the continent instead of England for their next moves.

Andrew Robertson (Dundee United):

Like Gauld, Robertson was fantastic for United last season. The left-back played so well during the league campaign that he was called up by Gordon Strachan, winning his first cap against Poland in March.

Strachan was full of praise stating…

“Andy came on there and the first time he picked it up he drove about 30 yards. I thought ‘that’s fantastic.”

Started his career with Queens Park and was a first team regular at eighteen. Was spotted by United boss Jackie McNamara and brought in last summer, he was immediately given a first team spot at Tannadice and didn’t look out of place in the Scottish Premiership. The full-back has pace, strong work ethic and likes getting forward. Also has a few goals to his name already. Robertson was Scotland’s young player of the year last term.

Would do well on the continent but I’d like to see him spend one more year under Jackie McNamara at Dundee Utd. Then after two seasons in the Scottish top flight go to say a mid table team abroad and develop even more, instead of jumping straight to the EPL. Seems like a player who is a fast learner and would adapt quite quickly to any situation.

Stevie May (St Johnstone): 

The young forward scored twenty-seven times in all competitions last season including an important brace in the Scottish Cup semi-final and one in Europe.

The talented marksman is composed inside the box and isn’t scared to have a crack form outside the area too. Seems to always be thinking about goals, nothing wrong with that for a striker. Has the pace and skill-set to beat a couple of players. More likely to take the shot with his right, but can hit it with his left if he has to. An instinctive finisher who links up well with those around him.

The twenty-one year old has recently been linked with Preston and QPR, but could do a job in Europe given the right opportunity.

Jason Holt (Hearts):

A very good creative midfielder. His sound technique really impressed former Hearts and Sporting boss Paulo Sergio, who believes Holt has what it takes to go to the top of the game. A very quick keen passer, who has fantastic awareness of who/whats around him

Has been brought through quickly at Tynecastle due to their financial troubles but could be better suited going to a team on the continent that would give him more freedom or be loaned to a smaller side in that country without the same pressure.

Not sure a year in the Scottish Championship would be beneficial for the energetic midfield maestro, unless Hearts start to become more creative and attacking. The Scottish Under 21 cap has been linked with Championship sides in the past.

Tony Watt (Celtic):

The Scottish striker burst onto the scene at Celtic Park when he scored the winner against Barcelona in the Champions League back in 2012. Last term he spent the season out on loan in Belgium, with Lierse. The twenty-year old managed to banged in nine strikes in seventeen games before a bust-up with Lierse’s manager Stanley Menzo.

His time in Belgium didn’t go unnoticed with Standard Liege who are now understood to be interested in bringing in the pacey forward on a permanent contract.

It really it all depends on whether or not Tony fits into new boss Ronny Deila’s plans. If he doesn’t then I’d suggest he goes back to Belgium or the Netherlands and develop there, rather than rot down in England somewhere. A good finisher but needs to settle down and realise what opportunities he has in front of him and not let his attitude stall his career.

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United):

Another talented younger player that has impressed under McNamara at Tannadice. The gifted midfielder caught the eye of a lot of scouts during the last campaign with his consistent performances. He already has over 130 club appearances to his name and is Scotland’s under 21 captain.

The central midfield man also has a level head on his shoulders, he’s currently studying for a law degree at the Open University. He’s another Scot with big ambitions, having previously stated that he’d like the chance to emulate Scots players like Murdo MacLeod, Alan McInally and Paul Lamber by staring in the Bundesliga.

Armstrong doesn’t mind going forward, scoring fifteen times so far in his career.

Within a few months Jackie McNamara was convinced of Stuart’s qualities…

“He’s got considerable pace, good vision and a strong finish. He has another couple of years with us and I imagine it won’t be long before we see him in the national team.”

A player that Dundee United would be reluctant to sell, but if they’re offered the right price they would not stand in any players way.

So hopefully more Scots try their luck on foreign shores and impress. For me, that will have a huge impact on out football and really boost our leagues and national team.

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