LIAM BUCHANAN insists in-demand Kevin Nisbet has all the attributes to become a Scotland striker of the future.
Dundee United tested the resolve of Dunfermline with a £250,000 bid for the prolific marksman on Tuesday evening but the Fifers are determined to get top dollar for their prize asset.
Hibernian are also long-term admirers of the ex-Raith Rovers and Partick Thistle ace and saw an offer rejected in January, while Shrewsbury and Portsmouth are also in the hunt.
Buchanan played alongside Nisbet during his goal-laden 2018/19 season at Stark’s Park – and witnessed the youngster arrive as a hopeful free agent, before departing as one of Scotland’s most deadly attackers.
He found the net 34 times that term to share the inaugural Tartan Ball award and Buchanan was blown away by his strength, clinical touch and the variety of his finishes.
Only Ayr’s Lawrence Shankland and Edinburgh City man Blair Henderson equalled that tally.
And Buchanan sees no reason why Nisbet cannot follow in Shankland’s footsteps again by claiming full international honours.
The Alloa Athletic attacker said: “With the right coaching at his next club he can be a full Scotland international. He’s up there with the best strikers I have seen at a young age.
“His confidence is sky-high and he has everything needed to become a top striker.
“I remember when he first came into Raith and just thinking ‘we’ve got to sign this guy!’ He came in on trial and I told Barry Smith, the manager at the time, that we should do the deal.
“It took weeks before we got it over the line – I’m not sure if it was money issues or whatever – but he hit the ground running, scored early and then it was like he couldn’t miss.
“He was so clinical, whether with his head, left foot, right foot and had so much strength and power.”
Any suggestions that Nisbet was destined to be a one-season wonder have been dismissed this term, with the front-man notching 23 goals in 32 appearances following his switch to Dunfermline.
However, Buchanan reckons a host of top clubs blew the chance to save themselves a FORTUNE by snapping him up directly from Raith Rovers.
Nisbet had a clause in his Rovers deal which allowed him to leave Stark’s Park if they failed to win promotion but, after being dumped out at the playoff stage, only Fife rivals Dunfermline were willing to take a punt.
Buchanan added: “When he left Raith Rovers – and I don’t mean to disrespect one of my former clubs – I was surprised he went to Dunfermline.
“I thought a bigger team may have had a nibble at him.
“It’s like a lot of teams look at players scoring goals in League One and think ‘so what?’
“Lawrence Shankland had that problem too – he scored a barrel-load of goals in League One but no-one took a gamble until he did it in the Championship.
“Clubs could have saved themselves a fortune if they had taken that gamble on Nizzy that I think his performances merited.”