Scotland: Gordon Strachan's potential young guns

John McGinn and Ryan Jack in action for Scotland Under-21s
John McGinn and Ryan Jack have played together for Scotland Under-21s

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan is to announce two squads this week for the forthcoming friendly internationals against the Czech Republic and Denmark.

Strachan has indicated a willingness to cap some of the country's young talents as he begins preparations for the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Some of BBC Scotland's football analysts, all of whom have played for Scotland, give their thoughts on which players deserve the chance to impress the national manager in Prague and Glasgow later this month.

RYAN JACK, chosen by Willie Miller

Ryan Jack
Derek McInnes has made Ryan Jack captain of his Aberdeen team

Position: Central midfield

Age: 24

Experience: A product of the Aberdeen youth system and has been capped up until under-21 level.

Former Aberdeen defender, manager and director Miller said: "He's got everything you need to make the step up from club to international level.

"In that defensive midfield role, he has great composure, a good touch, he doesn't get flustered and he's happy to take the ball in tight areas.

"At a young age, he's been given the captaincy of a title-challenging team, which he's handled well and he plays an extremely prominent role in a very good Aberdeen side."

JOHN McGINN, chosen by Steven Thompson

Hibs midfielder John McGinn
Midfielder John McGinn won the League Cup with St Mirren in 2013

Position: Central midfield

Age: 21

Experience: Came through the youth ranks with St Mirren before switching to Championship rivals Hibernian after the Paisley's club's relegation last summer and is a regular for Scotland Under-21s.

Former Dundee United, Rangers, Cardiff City and Burnley striker Thompson said of his former Buddies team-mate: "I've known him since he made his debut for St Mirren and it looks as though this season he's really turned from a boy to a man.

"He's physically stronger and he now has the belief and confidence that he's a top midfielder.

"He's the complete midfielder: he can tackle and be combative but also creative, with driving, surging runs.

"Despite only being 21, he's played more than 100 league games, so he's got great experience and has managed to maintain a level of consistency throughout this season."

KIERAN TIERNEY, chosen by Mark Wilson

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney has endeared himself to the Celtic fans with his energetic displays

Position: Left-back

Age: 18

Experience: Has not even represented Scotland beyond under-19 level as yet but burst into the Celtic first-team from their youth ranks this season and ousted Honduras international Emilio Izaguirre from the left full-back position with the Scottish champions.

Former Dundee United, Celtic, Bristol City and Dumbarton right-back Wilson said: "He may only have played 23 times for Celtic, but at 18 he's been a real stand-out in a lot of those games and, if you're a stand-out at Celtic, that speaks volumes.

"Given the pressure and scrutiny they're under, he's stood up to the challenge and, even in European games, he's been the man of the match.

"He has a great engine; he can get from goal-line to goal-line and, unlike a lot of young full-backs, he hasn't sacrificed the defensive part of his game just to concentrate on the attacking aspect.

"There are a lot of similarities with Andy Robertson in that he can make a tackle at one end and then be putting in a quality cross at the other within seconds - and he's got quite a number of assists already."

JAMIE WALKER, chosen by Michael Stewart

Jamie Walker
Jamie Walker brings pace and directness to Hearts' attacks

Position: Winger

Age: 22

Experience: Has played for Scotland at all youth levels after coming through the youth ranks with Hearts and has recently returned from long-term injury to resume his place in the first team at Tynecastle.

Former Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Hearts, Hibernian, Genclerbirligi and Charlton Athletic midfielder Stewart said: "Unfortunately, he's missed a chunk of the season through injury, but he's come back and hit the ground running with three goals in three games.

"He's an exciting talent who has the ability to unlock defences with his dribbling skills and also his vision.

"At 22, he is now becoming a mainstay of the Hearts team and is at the perfect age to try to get into the senior Scotland squad and continue his progress."

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