Ryan Gauld has opened up on his Scotland Euro 2020 snub and revealed his huge admiration for ‘brilliant’ Billy Gilmour in a Courier Sport exclusive.
Former Dundee United star Gauld became one of European football’s hottest properties in the summer after a series of outstanding displays for Portuguse side SC Farense.
But his nine goals and seven assists were not enough to convince Scotland boss Steve Clarke to call the playmaker up for his 26-man squad for the finals.
Chelsea star Gilmour and Celtic’s David Turnbull instead claimed the two final midfield berths for Scotland’s first major tournament in 23 years.
Gilmour has since established himself as a key man for Scotland.
And in the first of a three-part interview with Courier Sport, Gauld has praised Champions League winner Gilmour, while revealing his Scotland ambitions.
“I wasn’t initially expecting to get called into the squad,” said Gauld.
“If I was one of the boys who was in the squad for the qualifiers and then got dropped for the Euros, I’d be disappointed.
“It was only fair they got the chance.
“Then it went to 26 so there were a couple of spaces for new faces. Again, I can’t complain.
“The manager went for two up-and-coming young players who will probably be a big part of the national team’s future in Turnbull and Gilmour.
“I was obviously disappointed because every Scottish player wanted to be there.
Gauld salutes ‘brilliant’ Billy Gilmour
“When you look at the big picture with Billy Gilmour and see how well he’s settled in how can you complain?
“He makes it look so easy. For his age he’s incredible.
“I think he’s been man-of-the-match in nearly every game he’s played.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) September 6, 2021
“It’s brilliant for the national team and it’s brilliant for the country as a whole.
“The game intelligence he has for his age is ridiculous. Whenever he played in the Chelsea team last season he didn’t look out of place.
“It’s surprising that he’s away out on loan this year. I thought he was deserving of a chance.
“At Norwich he’ll get regular game time and I’m sure he’ll be one of the first names on the team sheet.”
Ryan Gauld taking MLS by storm
Gauld, 25, has responded superbly with a series of top displays at new club Vancouver Whitecaps.
His form – with two goals and two assists in six appearances – has helped the Canadian side to a ten-game unbeaten run.
And he hasn’t given up hope of taking ex-Dundee United star Jonny Russell’s route from MLS to the Scotland team.
Goal for Gauld! ⚽️
Ryan Gauld wins the game late on for the Vancouver Whitecaps, heading them to a 2-1 win over LAFC in the 89th minute. 🏴🇺🇸pic.twitter.com/6z6wSb0ILl
— Byron Hutchison (@ByronHutchison) August 22, 2021
“If Scotland are watching me now, I’d hope it wouldn’t just be social media clips,” said Gauld.
“I would hope it would be more in-depth analysis. But I’m unsure what’s going on.
“Jonny Russell got into the Scotland squad from Kansas before so it can happen.
“All I can do is focus on what I’m doing here and try to help the club. We are in a good form and are pushing to try to get a play-off spot.”