Gordon Strachan explains why Celtic's Kieran Tierney was handed international call-up ahead of Rangers rival

Celtic

The 18-year-old is set to make his debut for the Scottish national team later this month.

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has explained that his decision to call-up uncapped Celtic youngster Kieran Tierney for his latest squad instead of Rangers full-back Lee Wallace was made with one eye on the future of the national team, The Scottish Sun reports.

The 18-year-old admitted his own surprise that he had been chosen alongside Hull defender Andrew Robertson for the games against Czech Republic and Denmark, though Tierney is only in the squad for the latter friendly (via The Scottish Sun).

And while some of that surprise may have been down to the fact that he is yet to have even played for the under-21s, he may also have been surprised to have seemingly moved ahead of Wallace in the pecking order.

But Strachan explained that while Wallace can perhaps feel slightly aggrieved to miss out, he feels it was the right call for the team's development.

"We're actually well off for left-sided defenders. It's not bad, if you look at it. With Lee Wallace, he would be getting a game if it wasn't for Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney," he told The Scottish Sun.

"Lee is a good player but I have to look at these two for the future. You have to remember where we are strong and where we are weak. Remember where we need to look. There are loads of people who might think they should be in the squad but this is the best squad, I think, for Scotland."

Arguably the main reason that the 28-year-old can feel harshly treated is regarding the experience he possesses which Tierney does not. 

Wallace is the captain of the Scottish Championship side and has a handful of international caps under his belt, while the Hoops defender only started featuring for the first-team at Parkhead at the back-end of last season.

And while Strachan has suggested that looking to the future has motivated his decision, Wallace arguably has plenty of years ahead before his ability begins to decline.

Nevertheless, Tierney has impressed at the highest level of the Scottish game despite emerging on the scene not too long ago.

And with the national team not involved at this summer's European Championship, Strachan has time to give the youngster the same opportunity Ronny Deila has given him in the hope that by the time the World Cup qualifiers begin later this year, he will have adapted as well to the international scene as he has done to being part of Celtic's team. 

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