Oli McBurnie: Swansea striker determined to be Scotland's number nine

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Oli McBurnie: Scotland cap "the proudest moment of my life"

Oli McBurnie says wearing the number nine jersey for Scotland is 'the proudest moment of his life' and he is determined to hold on to it.

The 22-year-old striker has featured in all four matches overseen by national boss Alex McLeish this year.

McBurnie told BBC Scotland: "Club football is one thing but, especially growing up as a kid, you want to play for your country.

"As a striker, you want to be Scotland's number nine."

McBurnie recently signed a new three-year-deal at relegated Swansea City, having been at the club since the summer of 2015.

It means a return to the Championship where he spent the second half of last season on loan at Barnsley, scoring nine goals in 17 appearances.

"Luckily enough, I've worn the number nine on two occasions for Scotland and it's probably the proudest moment of my life," he said.

"There's been a few people tried out in that position over the last few years and no-one's really nailed down that position and it's definitely up for grabs, so it's just about performing well for your club."

Oli McBurnie celebrates a goal for Barnsley
McBurnie spent the latter half of last season on loan at Barnsley

Although Scotland lost both games, McBurnie enjoyed his experience on their summer tour, coming off the bench against Peru and starting at the famous Azteca Stadium in Mexico.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "Both games. The atmosphere was ridiculous. At the Azteca there was about 90,000 fans there. It was definitely one you're going to tell your grandkids about."

McBurnie came painfully close to scoring his first international goal in the 1-0 loss to Mexico, his header from Johnny Russell's cross crashing against the woodwork.

"I caught it really nice off my head and I thought it's got a chance here and then it bounced straight back off the post," he recalls. "If I don't get as clean a connection, I think it probably goes in."

The timing of the tour was widely questioned while several players withdrew from McLeish's squad, but there was no way McBurnie was knocking back the chance to represent his country.

"For me it's another cap and I'll never turn that down if I'm fit and able to go," he said.

There was some speculation that boyhood Rangers fan McBurnie might be heading for Ibrox as part of new manager Steven Gerrard's rebuilding plans.

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Swansea City: Oli McBurnie 'key part' of Graham Potter's plans

However, he is delighted to extend his stay with Graham Potter's Swans as the Welsh side look to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking.

"There's always going to be rumours, especially when I'm so vocal about being a Rangers supporter," he said.

"My plans were always to go on holiday after the Scotland games and come back to speak to Swansea.

"The gaffer said he really wanted me to stay and he sees me as a big part of his team and that's music to my ears. It was vital for me to be playing first-team football."

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