Scotland manager Steve Clarke insists the door remains open for any player who wants to return to the national team.
Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur retired from international football last October while, last November, Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie asked to be excluded for the foreseeable future.
Sheffield Wednesday’s Steven Fletcher is also reportedly considering his position.
Clarke, who yesterday named his squad for the Hampden 2020 European championship qualifiers against Russia and Belgium on September 7 and 10 respectively, has spent the summer discussing international duty with several players.
He said: “Some want to come back, others are looking after their fitness or body as they get older. Not all the conversations have been positive but they remain private.
“I don’t close the door on anybody. Football is a transient game. If anyone wants to come and play for us that will be great.”
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths was not considered as he continues building up his fitness following his sabbatical from club football due to mental health issues but Robert Snodgrass (West Ham), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Liam Cooper (Leeds United) and Ryan Jack (Rangers) have all been recalled.
Clarke said: “Robert has good experience. When I spoke to him over the summer he was very keen to come back on board.
“Grant has started the season as captain of Norwich and playing in the Premier League while Liam is captain of his club in the Championship.
“The three central defenders I picked the last time have all gone for scans and come back positive. So that’s Scott McKenna out, John Souttar out and Stuart Findlay out.
“But the fact I can pick players playing at that level to come in is great.
“I know Ryan well. I was the Kilmarnock manager last season and we played against his club seven times. He was going to be involved in the summer until Rangers pulled him out of the squad due to an ankle issue. He has continued his form at the start of this season and deserves to be in the squad.”
On Griffiths’ absence Clarke added: “Listen, Leigh has got some fantastic attributes. I just look at him just now and he’s come a long way in a short space of time after a very difficult spell in his life.
“I feel we should just give him a little more time to settle into the role again at Celtic and get himself fully fit and firing. And a fully fit and firing, sharp Leigh Griffiths will always be good for us. But at the moment I just feel it’s a little bit too early to push him.”
The squad boasts a growing number of Scots playing in the Premier League in England in Hanley, Andy Robertson, Stuart Armstrong, John McGinn, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay, Snodgrass and Ryan Fraser – and Clarke believes the increased presence in England’s top flight augurs well for Scotland.
He said: “It’s good, but it is also important that a lot of these boys have only just arrived in the Premier League. It’s great they are at that level and will be challenged. In the future it can only be good for us.
“We’re good in midfield and as a manager you want options. If everyone is there I will have tough decisions to make but that’s better than easy decisions.
“What I want is to see how club managers are using them at their clubs and then trying to implement them into the system we have here.
“I want to see people playing at a really good level as that will be important especially for times like this.”
Clarke knows the two matches against Russia and remaining one against Belgium will shape qualification hopes and has appealed for the Scotland supporters to get behind his team at Hampden.
He said: “We’re going to need the crowd. We’ve got the home games against two big teams and for the Russia game I’d love it to be a full house. That backing would give the players the extra lift as we know how crucial these games are. We need the points to stay in contention.
“Russia in the last World Cup reached the last eight. “They have a lot of really good players and we have to be respectful of their quality.
“Here at Hampden, with the Tartan Army in a full house, would give the players that little bit extra.”