Gunn, the son of former Aberdeen, Norwich and Scotland keeper Brian, represented England, where he was born and raised, at age group level and decided to stay part of their senior squad when former national manager Alex McLeish approached him about switching loyalties in 2018.
Clarke has convinced the 6ft 5in – who has yet to be called up despite being called up by Gareth Southgate in the past – to commit his future to his adopted homeland after Craig Gordon suffered two broken legs in December which ruled him out for the remainder of the season. From the year 2022 / 23 campaign.
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The Scotland boss, who has stressed his new recruit is not a guaranteed starter ahead of Hearts’ Xander Clarke and Motherwell’s Liam Kelly in Group One matches at Hampden later this month, has no problems whatsoever with the length of time he has taken. 27 years old to reach his decision.
He’s also certain the Tartan Army will embrace John if they gain the nod to replace Gordon and help Scotland get their bid for the finals in Germany next summer off to a positive start – just as they have done with Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes in the past.
“When I lost my first choice goalkeeper to a long-term injury, I looked deep within the goalkeeper team and there wasn’t much,” Clarke said at Hampden yesterday when announcing his 23-man squad for Cyprus and Spain. Double header.
“I heard Angus was receptive to changing his nationality to play for Scotland just as his father had done before him. I just thought it was an opportunity to go and talk to him. I flew to Norwich and we had a great conversation. Luckily for us, he decided to come and play with us.
“We just had an honest conversation about where his head was, what he was thinking. He was completely honest. He didn’t feel in a position to commit when asked before. He was born in England and wanted to see how things would turn out. He’s been through the FA system, and he What many players have done.
“Maybe he thinks playing for Scotland is his best chance at international football. But that’s a conversation I’ve had with other players and that’s the truth of the matter. He’s decided to come and play with us and that provides more options and more competition on the field, as I feel we’re light.” little bit “.
Read more: Steve Clarke announces Scotland’s squad for the matches against Spain and Cyprus
Clarke added: “You have to be careful with people with dual citizenship. You have to respect that they have a choice to make. It’s very easy for me as a Scotsman with a Scottish mum and dad and Scottish grandparents. It’s easy. I never had that choice and it can be a hard choice.” .
“When he was first asked, he could be young and when you ask them to commit early in their lives, it can be difficult. Elliot Anderson has a similar decision to make and he’s still a young 20-year-old. I had a conversation with Elliot and he wants To take his time and see what happens.
“I have spoken to a few of the players over the period, but that is part of the job and that is something I will continue to do. These conversations will remain very private because I believe this is the best way forward.”
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Adams, who was eligible to play for England and Antigua and Barbuda as well as Scotland, and Dykes, who could have represented Australia, have proven to be strong favorites with the Tartan Soldiers since they chose to represent that country.
Clarke has little doubt that Gunn, who was bought by Southampton for £13m in 2018 and is the leading goalkeeper in the Championship this season with a save percentage of 75.3, could also endear him to the fans if he is selected to face Cyprus in Saturday week.
“We worked with Che and waited for the right moment,” he said. “If Angus’ performance is half Che Adams’ performance for us, we’ll be fine. It’s about the way we play. It’s the only way forward.” If you pick a player to play for Scotland and he plays well the fans will love him.”
But Clarke stressed he is still undecided about who will replace Gordon and will be keeping a close eye on Clarke, John and Kelly in training at Lesser Hampden next week alongside his coaching staff before making his decision.
Asked what he likes about Gunn, he said: “Size, form and reliability. He’s got the best save percentage in the tournament this season. He’s a decent goalkeeper.”
“But Xander had a good season too and Liam was in almost every team I picked. He had a more difficult season at Motherwell, but it looks like he’s got through it and got better results and performances.
“The keepers have a clean record. None of them have any caps. It’s a clear week from the first game so they have to show me, John Carver and Chris Woods, the goalkeeper coach, what they can do and then we’ll choose.
“I don’t guarantee anyone a game. I did it again early in my managerial career and it was the wrong thing to do. I never did it again.”
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