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5 Scotland-based players good enough to play in the Premier League

Conor Lochrie
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
8.36K   //    17 Feb 2018, 14:56 IST

Kilmarnock v Celtic
Celtic winning their 1st of 6 league titles

The Scottish league, quite unfairly, most of the time, attracts a lot of criticism, especially from neighbours England. Certainly, the quality of football is reduced up North, it's still physically-dominated, but Scottish football history in rich: think of Celtic's famous Lisbon Lions team who became the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967

Think also of Rangers' hardened team that won 9 league titles in a row during the 1990's, and came within 1 point of reaching the UEFA Champions League final in 1993. World-class players like Henrik Larsson and Brian Laudrup have graced the pitches of Scotland.

Today, the top division which is the Scottish Premiership boasts the best average attendances expressed as a percentage of a country's population in the whole of Europe, a remarkable and commendable feat.

There is the talent to be found within the teams, as was the case when Southampton plundered Celtic in successive seasons for Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster, and Virgil van Dijk (who has since notoriously become the world's most expensive defender ever).

This slideshow, then, lists 5 current players in the Scottish Premiership who are definitely capable of making the step up to the Premier League. It's heavily dominated by Celtic, naturally, given their lofty position in Scotland, but other teams have capable players as well:


#5 Kieran Tierney (Celtic)

RSC Anderlecht v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League
Tierney is a fan favourite for his love of the club and combative displays

The most obvious inclusion, Tierney has been earning rave reviews for his performances at left-back for a few seasons now. Still only 20, he's racked up an incredible 116 total appearances for the club already.

He's the prototypical modern full-back: extremely strong in the tackle, never wavering from a defensive battle, but a terror in attack, always supporting his forward teammates.

There are many, even outside Celtic, who believe the youngster to be one of the best left-backs in European football right now and it's not a silly notion. Tierney has performed well in the Champions League, showing that Scotland isn't just his level; indeed, he even made it into the UEFA team of the group stage, alongside such greats as Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Manchester United has been mentioned as an interested party in the player for a while now, which makes sense, given their troubles in the position with Luke Shaw.

The Englishman sadly makes for an unfortunate comparison with Tierney: both similar ages, both British, yet Shaw has declined massively under Jose Mourinho's tutelage, while Tierney goes from strength to strength under his manager Brendan Rodgers. It would be a sad end to his career at the club if he was replaced by the Scotsman.

Interestingly, Tierney is a massive Celtic supporter, and his connection with the club and his fellow fans are emotional and strong, so tempting him away from Glasgow may not be as easy as it would with another player. Celtic's in his blood, and if ever a player was to ignore the riches of England and stay at a lower level, it may just be Tierney.

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Conor Lochrie
ANALYST
Freelance writer, massive football fan! Currently living in New Zealand.
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