Souttar and Gordon drop out as Scotland Euro 2024 squad finalised

Steve Clarke has made his final selection for the tournament in Germany.

John Souttar and Craig Gordon drop out as Scotland Euro 2024 squad finalised SNS Group

Steve Clarke has finalised his 26-man squad for Euro 2024, with John Souttar and Craig Gordon failing to make the cut for the tournament.

Clarke had named a provisional group of 28 players to train and prepare for Germany but had to submit his final selection by Friday night, one week before the opening game against the hosts at the Allianz Arena.

Injury to forward Lyndon Dykes and a fitness issue Ben Doak prompted the head coach to draft in Under-21s striker Tommy Conway and New York Red Bulls forward Lewis Morgan. That meant Clarke still had difficult decisions to make on who would not be boarding the flight to Germany.

With four goalkeepers in the provisional squad, he opted to drop veteran Craig Gordon, with Angus Gunn, Zander Clark and Liam Kelly getting the nod for the finals.

Gordon came off the bench to earn his 75th cap in the friendly against Finland on Friday but conceded two goals as Scotland let a lead slip to draw 2-2.

“It was a really tough decision to leave Craig out,” said Clarke.

“When you think of the injury he had come back from, I just thought over the period of time that he had been back and hadn’t become the number one at Hearts again – he only had seven games since December 2022, a long time.

“Obviously you had the dynamic of the squad, the three goalkeepers had been involved in every qualification.

“It was a really tough conversation with Craig, it was quite emotional to be honest – for both of us.

“But the mark of the man is he was here tonight. At the end of the conversation I said ‘I understand if you don’t like me and don’t want to do this, but I would like to give you the 75th cap tomorrow in front of a good crowd’.

“I could have done it against Gibraltar (on Monday), but I wanted to do it here at Hampden and the mark of the man, an hour later he was down having dinner with the lads. A great professional.

“At the end of the game we gave him a little reward signed by all the lads, Gordon 75 on the back of his jersey, and as I was giving him it I said ‘I know Craig will throw this back in my face and say 76, 77, 78, 79, 80 are coming’.”

Souttar is the other player to miss out, with the Rangers player having suffered an injury at the end of his club season and unable to force his way into Clarke’s plans in a competitive part of the squad.

Though Scotland play three centre-backs in Clarke’s preferred system, there’s ample cover with Kieran Tierney, Grant Hanley, Jack Hendry, Ryan Porteous, Scott McKenna and Liam Cooper in the squad.

Scotland fly out to Germany on Sunday but UEFA rules say that if a player suffers an injury ruling them out of the tournament before the opening game, then a replacement can be called up. A replacement goalkeeper can be called up at any time.

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