Scotland manager Steve Clarke says Aberdeen right back Calvin Ramsay must be given time to develop in the Premiership before he is considered for national team selection.
Ramsay has been an impressive performer for the Dons this term, with the 18-year-old starting all but two of the Reds’ fixtures so far.
His displays have attracted reported interest from English Premier League club Everton, with the teenager under contract at Pittodrie until 2024.
Although Ramsay has forced his way into Scot Gemmill’s Scotland under-21 side, Clarke feels it is important he focuses on building up more top-flight experience for his club in the meantime.
Ramsay said: “Ramsay is coming through. But at 18 years of age, let’s give the boy time to settle into the Aberdeen team, settle into the Scottish Premiership and the under-21 squad.
“He can get some minutes and games under his belt.
“It’s a position that is suddenly starting to look a little bit healthier than it was a couple of years ago.
“I’m hoping Nathan Patterson will pick up a little bit of game-time before we meet up. Rangers have two games so hopefully Nathan will get minutes on the pitch.
“Stephen O’Donnell is back playing regularly at Motherwell so for a position that was always sort of looked on as a weakness, it’s actually become a reasonably strong position for us.
“That’s great and a credit to both boys.”
Although Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson retained his spot from last month’s fixtures, there was no place for Dons defender Declan Gallagher in Clarke’s 24-man squad for the World Cup qualifying fixtures against Israel and Faroe Islands next month.
Clarke says the door remains open for 30-year-old Gallagher along with St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark, who was also omitted from the last squad.
He added: “Declan missed out. He’s lost his place at Aberdeen. He’s been good for me but I think he just needs to get himself settled in at Aberdeen and get back in the team. He can also be part of the future.
“Obviously Zander Clark is a little bit unlucky to miss out. But Jon McLaughlin missed the last camp with Covid. It just felt right to bring Jon back in.
“Zander has missed out but not because of anything he did in the camp. He was good. I enjoyed working with Zander and he is one to keep in mind because he will be involved in future camps, I’m sure.”
Clarke revealed former Scotland striker Steven Naismith will continue to be part of his backroom team for the upcoming fixtures, after he stepped in as a temporary replacement last month.
He added: “Austin MacPhee is free of Covid and will join up with us.
“Steven Naismith jumped in at the last minute to help us last time round, which was really good of him. I’ve managed to keep Steven on board for this camp as well, so the backroom staff is good.
“With Steven, he’s great. I knew him as a player. We got him in as a coach and he was good with the players.
“He didn’t suddenly become the players’ mate again. He recognised position within the group. He helped John Carver a lot on the training pitch, doing little bits to help share workload.
“Myself and John appreciated Steven’s help so it’s nice to keep him on board for this one.”