United Midfielder Scott McTominay Pledges International Career to Scotland

Ibrahimovic has struggled to recover from a serious knee injury sustained in April 2017

Ibrahimovic has struggled to recover from a serious knee injury sustained in April 2017

How droll. Scotland - and not least Alex McLeish - can afford to laugh off the jibe.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has chosen to play for Scotland ahead of England, according to media reports in the UK.

It is 18 years since a Scottish victory in an Auld Enemy game so any little triumphs must be savoured.

The 21-year-old rising star held recent talks with returning manager Alex McLeish as he pondered his decision.

The Lancaster-born player has gone with his heart and pledged allegiance to his father's native land despite an offer to represent England.

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Having not qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, there is a desperation among Scotland fans for things to improve as soon as possible. "It's a bit of both - I want them both to do well".

McTominay has played 15 times for the United first team under Jose Mourinho this season, including starts in last Sunday's Premier League win over Chelsea and against Benfica in the Champions League.

Hearts manager and director of football Levein, who managed Scotland between 2009 to 2012, hopes to see more young, eligible players commit their futures to Scotland in an "exciting" time for the national side, who face Costa Rica and Hungary in friendlies later this month. Not because he's not good enough for England but because he wants to play for Scotland and that's great to see. "I can't confirm because I have no information about that and my advice to him is not about national teams, is not about that".

"That's not to say he's not got ability himself but sometimes when you first come into the team, especially at Man United, you've got to earn the right".

Fletcher left United in 2015, when McTominay was still emerging, but he has been encouraged by what he has heard from United players and coaches.

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