Sheffield United: John Fleck could be set for his first Scotland cap after all

John Fleck is on the verge of a long-awaited Scotland call-up: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
John Fleck is on the verge of a long-awaited Scotland call-up: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United's John Fleck could make his long-awaited senior debut for Scotland this weekend after being called-up for their forthcoming UEFA Nations League games against Albania and Israel.

As The Star revealed earlier tonight, Fleck was summoned to Oriam, the SFA's national performance centre near Edinburgh, following John McGinn's withdrawal from Alex McLeish's squad.

Despite representing his country four times at under-21 level, the midfielder has been overlooked by a succession of international managers since leaving Rangers in the summer of 2012. But, after emerging as a key member of the United squad which has risen to fourth in the Championship table, Fleck has now been granted an opportunity to press his claims.

Even if he watches Saturday's League C Group One tie from the bench, McLeish's decision to select one of his players will be a source of great pride for Wilder, who has long pressed the 27-year-old's case.

"John is playing well," Wilder said. "If he continues to play well then I'm sure his chance will come. He's just got to carry on doing what he's doing."

"It's great for the lads themselves and it's great for us as a club," the United manager, speaking earlier this term, added. "It reflects well on everybody. I honestly think the lads who do go come back even better players because of the knowledge, the experience and the other things they are exposed to at that level."

Fleck's ommision from Scotland's senior set-up had been questioned by a number of his former team mates in recent months, with Stefan Scougall, now of St Johnstone, describing him as the heir apparent to Scott Brown. 

He was again left off the roster when McLeish named his side for the visit to Shkoder and Tuesday's match at Hampden Park, before being asked to report for duty when McGinn returned to Aston Villa after being assessed by Scotland's medical staff. Another midfielder, Rangers' Ryan Jack, has also pulled-out of the matches because of concerns about his fitness.

Scotland will be promoted from their group, and guaranteed of a Euro 2020 play-off, if they win both games.