Scotland coach Steven Reid has praised Celtic-linked Lawrence Shankland for the start he’s made to his international career.
The Dundee United star has received his first call-up to the senior Scotland side. This comes after a quite simply sensational start to the season where he’s managed an incredible 15 goals in 13 appearances.
Shankland doesn’t look set to start against Russia on Thursday night. However, don’t be surprised if he makes his international debut against San Marino.
And, speaking in the Scottish Sun about how he’s looked in training, Reid was highly praising of how Shankland has started his international career.
“Lawrence has obviously been prolific and started the season really well. His call-up also gives an opportunity for others. They might look at it and see they have a chance as well.
“Lawrence hit the ground running this morning. He was fantastic. I know it was just the first training session, a lightish session, but he was straight in, scoring a few goals and looking confident.
“It’s not with a view to maybe playing against San Marino. It’s just he’s next on the list to be monitored and he’s here on merit.”
International impression could change the way some look at Shankland
At the moment, there’s hardly a plethora of Celtic supporters urging the Hoops to sign him up. Despite the fact Tosh McKinlay was reportedly watching him bag a hat-trick against Morton on behalf of the club, no offer has been made (Daily Record).
United manager Robbie Neilson has also stated that they aren’t considering offers until the end of the season (Scottish Sun). They’re quite right too.
However, if Shankland can get some minutes against Russia and San Marino, or better yet, score a goal or two, it will change how some look at him.
The main question mark many have over the former Ayr United man is that he’s unproven in the Premiership. Scoring in the Championship is seen as all well and good. However, can he do it when he steps things up a level?
Scotland gives him the chance to prove that. He’s clearly making an impression in training, which is a big start for him. If he manages to be a hero in Russia, he’ll have proved he can step it up a level. Less so with San Marino, but it would still be a boost for him.
Celtic fans and no doubt Celtic scouts will be watching his performances carefully over the next week. It’ll be interesting to see if he can really make an impression.