You may have read reports from last month stating that our national side enjoyed its most successful year under the leadership of Craig Levein, since 2007.  A controversial 2-2 draw against the Czech Republic doomed us to another summer without appearing at a major competition, but we can undoubtedly say that this Scotland squad is one of the strongest we have had in recent years.

The question is though, is if our national side is only going to get stronger, and the gentlemen of the corner have identified the following players as the men that could lead us to us to our first major finals since 1998:

Jordan Rhodes

What better place to start than with the sensational 21 year old who has been banging in the goals for Huddersfield Town. The 6ft 2″ striker has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 27 goals in 25 starts this season. He is also a regular in Billy Stark’s Scottish Under 21 side, with an impressive 6 goals in the 4 appearances he made in the Under 21 Championship Qualifying Rounds, including a superb hat-trick against Luxembourg in a 5-1 victory.  With ‘several’ EPL club scouts watching him in his game against Wycombe Wanderers, Rhodes netted 5 times in the 6-0 win, and it is surely inevitable before an offer from an EPL side is made. The belief in this young man is incredible, and his goalscoring record speaks for itself. Could he be the man to lead the Scotland sides front line in the future? Time will tell, but with his current record, it is only a matter of time before Craig Levein gives this youngster a run within the first team.

James Forrest

At the age of 20, Forrest is already one of Celtic’s most valuable first team players, with 43 appearances and 9 goals to his name. His direct nature and creativity has already led to Craig Levein capping the youngster 4 times, and with the Scottish Football Associations new performance director Mark Wotte, who helped start the careers of playes like Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, said that he sees Forrest as being “the light in the darkness” of Scottish football.  With comments such as these being made, we can only hope that Forrest reaches his potential, and can help lead Scotland to a successful future.

Danny Wilson

Perhaps a less favorable addition due to his lack of appearances for Liverpool, but the ex-Rangers player’s ability is unquestionable. Comfortable on the ball and solid in the tackle, Danny Wilson can boast records including being the youngest ever Rangers player to feature in a UEFA Champions League Match, with a superb performance in the 1-1 draw with Unirea Urziceni. The youngster has recently been snapped up on loan by Blackpool, which will hopefully lead to more appearances, and his improvement as a footballer.  With 5 full international caps for Scotland, including a goal, Wilson could undoubtedly become a major player in the heart of Scotland’s defence.

Charlie Mulgrew At 25, Mulgrew is the oldest man on our list, and as a regular in Neil Lennon’s Celtic side, it is hard to understand why Mulgrew has never been capped above Under-21 level. The Celtic man has been in great form this season, and has seemed to have nailed his consistency. A possible partner in the future for Danny Wilson, Mulgrew can also be employed as a left-back or left sided midfielder.  His excellent dead-ball abilities could cause huge problems for teams, and will a great weapon for the supply of the huge Jordan Rhodes.  With his current form, he will no doubt be catching Craig Levein’s eye, but will face tough competition to split the currently favorable partnership of Christophe Berra and Gary Caldwell. The future for Mulgrew however is certainly bright.

Scott Allan

One of the most-talked about Scottish players in Britain right now, with the 20 year old recently securing his move to EPL side West Bromwich Albion. With both myself and Gavin playing with Allan in school, we always knew he was a talented player, but both agreed that he would not have the ability to reach the top. The progression that he must have made since leaving school must be huge, with both the Old Firm and several EPL clubs being interested in the youngster before his move to West Brom was confirmed.  Another regular in Billy Stark’s under 21 side, the 20 year olds technique and creative ability are attributes that could lead to his selection by Levein.  If the potential seen in this young man can be justified in competitive matches, it is indisputable that Allan could be the heartbeat of a future Scotland side.

Steven Fletcher

Controversial? Perhaps, but Fletcher’s goal-scoring ability is in no doubt. We will look at the 24 year old in more detail this week, but with 9 goals in 13 starts for Wolves this season – including goals against Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – critics cannot contest Fletcher’s form. We can only hope that differences can be settled and that he will once again declare himself available for Scotland. Levein could use his goalscoring ability, and placed up front with Jordan Rhodes Scotland could have a feared strike force.

By Steven Lamb

You can follow him on twitter @StevenLamb57

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