Charlie Nicholas surprised by Scott McTominay's decision to represent Scotland
Last Updated: 06/03/18 7:46am
Charlie Nicholas is surprised by Scott McTominay's decision to represent Scotland over England, questioning the Manchester United midfielder's motive.
The 21-year-old, who has recently established himself as a regular in Jose Mourinho's line-up, was born in England but has opted to play for the nation of his father's birth, according to Sky sources.
Soccer Saturday pundit Nicholas played for Scotland 20 times and has raised concerns over players born south of the border opting to play for a national team which has not reached a major tournament in 20 years.
Nicholas told Sky Sports: "I'm surprised that he has chosen Scotland as I honestly didn't think he would.
"It is tough to say until we hear what he has to say about it but if you believe in yourself and your ability then I would have thought it would be a fairly straight-forward decision to choose England.
"He was born in England and sounds like he's English so I'm not sure how having a Scottish father is a stronger reason than where you are from. It sounds like his father has picked it more than him."
The Arsenal legend is uncomfortable with the general trend of players who are convinced to play for Scotland based on ancestral eligibility.
He added: "We used to source kids who were eligible when they were 13 or 14 and I really hated the fact that our country went after English players and thought it stunk of desperation.
"I've also felt like it takes something away from our identity. We may not have the most talented players but they are grafters and have to be passionate about representing their country.
Find out what Nicholas is tipping up in his RequestABet for Crystal Palace v Man Utd here.
"A lot of guys are just coming to play for us to top up their CVs and boost their sponsors, so it doesn't sit well with me.
"It is also unfair on the players who will miss out on playing for their countries but it is the clubs' fault, not letting their players play in the youth teams and allowing it to get to this stage."
Nicholas is also baffled as to why it has taken until the age 21 to make the decision despite McTominay making his debut for United last season.
"Why has it taken 15 games for United without a discussion? Either England have been very slow and showed no interest or he feels very strongly about it," he said.
"He looks a decent player but we haven't really seen anything special yet so when he comes up here with his English accent he'll have to really prove he is worth his place."