‘He’s not going to play’: Newcastle man urged to ditch England for Scotland amid Saka competition

Jason Soutar
Harvey Barnes in action for England against Wales in 2020.
Harvey Barnes in action for England against Wales in 2020.

Ally McCoist thinks one-cap England international Harvey Barnes should switch to Scotland ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

The Newcastle United winger made his only appearance for the Three Lions in a friendly win against Wales in October 2020, coming off the bench late on at Wembley.

On a side note, England’s back three that day was Joe Gomez, Conor Coady and Michael Keane, while Harry Winks, Danny Ings, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles also played.

Barnes can ditch England for Scotland thanks to his grandparents and a report from The Times (via TEAMtalk) states that he is ‘considering’ doing so.

This would be a good move for the 25-year-old and Tartan Army favourite McCoist thinks he should bite the bullet.

“I may be biased, but he has got to switch,” McCoist told talkSPORT. “He has got to – he is going to get a game.

“I look at Harvey Barnes and I can see him playing for Scotland. He is the type of player that the Scottish fans love and the Scottish team need, and with the greatest respect I look at the England team and he is not going to play – they have got [Bukayo] Saka, [Phil] Foden and [Jack] Grealish.

“It is going to be extremely difficult for him to play.

“I am being a bit light-hearted about it and I don’t think it’s a no-brainer, but it looks like Scotland now have a squad capable of qualifying for championships.”

Scotland are flying in their Euro 2024 qualifying group. They are currently top with five wins from five, scoring 12 goals and only conceding one, which came against Norway striker Erling Haaland from the penalty spot, so it barely counts.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay is struggling for minutes at club level but has been on fire under Steve Clarke, sitting joint-top for goals scored (six) in the qualifiers, above the likes of Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

McCoist was sure to give McTominay some praise after his goal and assist in the 3-0 win at Cyprus last Friday.

He said: “Is he not due a wee run? He was top class again. He is the top scorer in the tournament at this moment in time.

“It is amazing, for a couple of games Steve was playing him on the right of a back three which is fine when needs must, but he is miles better further forward.

“He has been terrific and a lot of the Scots supporters think: ‘How is he not getting into this Man United team?'”

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