The 'Scottish' Geordies

Published on 18 November 2023 at 20:00

Despite being the closest Premier League side to Scotland geographically, over past few decades only a handful of Scots have plied their trade at St James' Park. However, with the recent revelation that both Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento are of Scottish descent, as well as the constant murmurs of Harvey Barnes and Elliot Anderson getting a call from Steve Clarke, could we be about witness a 'Toon' influx in the Scottish National Team?



When you think of Scotland players playing in England, the mind immediately wanders to the likes of Denis Law and Darren Fletcher at Manchester United or Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool. But one place that has had a distinct lack of Scots in their arsenal over the years is Newcastle. 

If you were to ask Newcastle fans who their most memorable Scottish player was, they'd probably say Duncan Ferguson. However, while 'Big Dunc' played for The Magpies, he wasn't even a part of his National Team squad due to a feud with the SFA.

Nowadays, Matt Ritchie is the only Scottish player at Newcastle United, but the midfielder has struggled for minutes since the club's Saudi takeover. Meanwhile, there is some Geordie blood in the Scottish National Team staff as John Carver (aka the former "best coach in the Premier League") has been Steve Clarke's right hand man since 2020.


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It was in fact Carver who said that Scotland had their eye on multiple Newcastle players, so without further ado let's look at who he may have been talking about...


Elliot Anderson

Having represented Scotland at youth level right up to the u21s, Elliot Anderson is the only player of the four targets to have actually shown interest in playing his International football north of the border. The 21 year old was born in Whitley Bay but is eligible to play through his paternal grandmother. In August, Anderson actually received a call up from Clarke for matches against Cyprus and England but pulled out of the squad due to injury. Despite pulling out, Anderson made a miraculous recovery the following weekend to play for Newcastle, prompting reports that he actually left the camp because he wasn't enjoying it. Either way, Anderson's future in a Scotland jersey may forever be tarnished by this.


Harvey Barnes

Having made his name at the likes of West Brom and Leicester, Harvey Barnes moved to Newcastle this summer for a fee in the region of £40m. Pacey, tricky and unplayable at times, the winger has proved over the past five years that he would be any managers dream. It is for this reason that supposedly Steve Clarke has tried to contact the 25 year old, in an attempt to convince him to play for Scotland. Despite coming on for England against Wales in a friendly in 2020, Barnes can still play for Scotland through his maternal grandmother. Clarke's general style of play doesn't involve conventional wingers, but with the level of performances Barnes is capable of, the Scotland coach would be foolish not to do everything in his power to convince him to switch allegiance.


Tino Livramento

In a struggling Southampton side last season, Tino Livramento was one of The Saints' only standout performers. It was for this reason that Newcastle signed him in the summer, also for a fee of around £40m. Behind Trippier and Burn in the pecking order at fullback, Livramento has struggled for minutes in a flying Newcastle side, however the 21 year old has always looked solid when called upon and has received high praise from Eddie Howe because of this. He has played for England from u15 to u21 level but is also eligible for Portugal from his father's side and Scotland from his mother.


Anthony Gordon

Possibly the most unrealistic of the four, Anthony Gordon completes our list of 'Scottish' players in the current Newcastle team. Gordon signed for the Magpies in January in a £45m deal from Everton and has been a fan favourite on Tyneside ever since. The lightning pace that the 22 year old possesses is frightening but this season he has also showcased he has an end product to go with his speed. Gordon has represented England at all youth levels and was named Player of the Tournament in their 2023 u21 European Championships victory. Somewhat surprisingly, other members of that squad (Levi Colwill and Cole Palmer) have received first team call ups however Gordon's keeps getting lost in the post. In turn, as he is eligible to play for Scotland through his paternal grandparents, he might have a decision to make should Southgate continue to omit him.


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As a Scotland fan, I would love to think that as soon as Steve Clarke phones these four young talents, they'll be sitting with a kilt on, drinking a can of Irn-bru, raring to go, overjoyed at the chance to represent the Tartan Army. However, it's just not realistic is it?

Gordon, Livramento, Barnes and Anderson have all been born and bred in England, possibly dreaming from a young age to put on the Three Lions jersey. They have grown up idolising the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Harry Kane etc, not Stephen O'Donnell and Grant Hanley. One thing we can't do is just magically make these young men feel Scottish and have the same passion for the shirt as they would England.

The complications don't end there, as Scotland fans well know, Steve Clarke is a very stubborn man and would not be likely to change the system for any of these players and why should he? after the best qualification campaign we've ever had.

With a major tournament round the corner, of course Clarke will be heading down to the 'Toon' to ask these young men to play. But I certainly wouldn't expect him to beg...


Ally Gordon

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