Arsenal midfielder performs u-turn and commits international future to Scotland

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Scotland have got one over on the Auld Enemy after Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour revealed that he has pledged allegiance to his adopted country.

The 19-year-old started out playing for Scotland at youth level before being capped for England Under-17s, but insists his latest u-turn is for good.

The Brighton-born teenager, whose dad Ian was once on the books of Motherwell, confirmed his intentions after playing in Wednesday’s Under-19s’ narrow 1-0 friendly defeat to France at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

News of Gilmour’s decision will come as a coup after the playmaker was an unused substitute in the Gunners’ 4-2 Europa League victory over Bate Borisov last week.

Gilmour said: “I was with Scotland originally, but then I went with England and now I am back with Scotland.

“I have pledged my future now to Scotland. The reasons are that I just really enjoy playing with Scotland. Games like Wednesday are great experience for me.

“My aim is to keep doing well and see what happens. Hopefully, I can keep progressing.”

Having been at Arsenal since the age of seven, Gilmour was thrilled to be recognised by first team manager Arsene Wenger with a place among the substitutes for the recent trip to Belarus.

He added: “It’s been a big season so far with Arsenal and Scotland.

“I got called up for the first team when we played away in Bate Borisov and that was a great experience for me.

“The manager told me I was travelling the day before. I was very surprised to be honest, but I felt I was ready for it.

“You can see that the manager trusts young players because he has given some of the younger ones a few chances, so that is encouraging.

“To get into the first team shows I have been doing well recently and means that the manager has faith in me, I am very grateful to him.”

Gilmour admits vastly experienced former Germany defender Per Mertesacker has helped guide him with the transition into the first team squad at the Emirates.

He added: “I get plenty of advice from the first team players. Per Mertesacker is a big help to me – he always talks to me and gives me advice and helps me.”

Gilmour was a threat in the loss to the French after twice having efforts saved by goalkeeper Alban Lafont in a game that was decided by Lyon striker’s Myziane Maolida’s close range finish seconds after the restart.

And the youngster admits he likes to model his game on Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and former Spain midfielder maestro Xavi.

He added: “I like to get on the ball and get forward and create chances. I look at the likes of Steven Gerard and Xavi, who were the best players in the world and try to take inspiration from them.

“It was a great experience against France, we did well.

“They were physically a big side, but I thought we could have got something out of the game.

“It was a battle, but I thought we did well.”

 
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