Scott McTominay has insisted that he never had any doubts in his mind over representing Scotland instead of England at international level.
The youngster has become a favourite of Jose Mourinho this season following disciplined midfield displays against Chelsea and Liverpool.
Having never been capped at any level before, McTominay chose earlier this month to represent Scotland instead of England and has been included in the squad to face Costa Rica and Hungary.
And McTominay, when asked about his decision to pick Scotland, made it clear that the call was a no-brainer.
“I have to thank the boss, Alex McLeish, for giving me an opportunity to come with the squad and hopefully show people what I can do,” he said.
“We’ll look to the future and hopefully I can play well. [My dad] is obviously tremendously proud, as all my family are. It’s a big honour to come away with the Scotland national team.
“It’s what you work for your whole life, to hopefully come away with the national team, to improve, do well and help the team. I’m really pleased.
“When I spoke to the manager, I was so happy that he took his time out to come and speak to me. He travelled a hell of a long way [to Manchester] to speak to me and I have to thank him for that.
“The conversation we had was relatively simple. I wanted to play for Scotland – and I always have done, since I was a young boy, so it was an incredibly proud moment when he did call me up.”
The midfielder’s decision to snub England makes sense in more ways than one.
That he could make his first ever international appearance on Friday, in front of his father at Hampden Park, is reason enough to pick Scotland. He has a genuine chance to make a splash at international level and his stock will only rise as a result.
Playing international football helps to mould you as a professional. The game-knowledge and underlying nous he will develop representing his country cannot be underestimated; Mourinho, who has an affinity for Scotland, may have emphasised that very notion to him.
Another reason to pick Scotland over England: one set of supporters dress up in mad gear and loudly follow their team everywhere; the other group spews abuse at their players on social media and burns effigies of them.