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Oli McBurnie plays for Sheffield United after dropping out of Scotland squad

Oli McBurnie court case
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Oli McBurnie has turned out for Sheffield United in a friendly two days after pulling out of the Scotland squad.

The striker came on at half-time as the Blades played Derby in a pre-season game at Pride Park.

Scotland coach Steven Reid explained on Monday that McBurnie had dropped out of the squad for the Nations League openers against Israel and Czech Republic because of “an issue with his foot”.

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The 24-year-old missed United’s training-ground friendly win over Hearts on Friday, when Chris Wilder named a 22-man squad.

The club’s Twitter account stated when announcing his introduction against Derby: “Oli McBurnie steps up his recovery from injury and replaces (Lys) Mousset at half time.”

Blades boss Wilder later insisted that Scotland counterpart Clarke had given the green light for McBurnie to be involved.

“I spoke to Steve beforehand and he agreed with us that, given where Oli is at, he was better off being with us and doing this,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star.

“He was happy with everything and we kept him fully informed of everything. For me, and for him (Clarke) it makes perfect sense.”

McBurnie reaffirmed his commitment to Scotland a year ago, addressing his international team-mates to reassure them that disparaging comments about playing for his country, which were leaked on social media footage, were said in jest.

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As well as McBurnie, Scotland boss Steve Clarke is without the injured Leigh Griffiths and Lawrence Shankland from his strikeforce, while Hearts forward Steven Naismith has not played since March and was not included.

Sporting Kansas City forward Jonny Russell was unable to return to Scotland because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Cardiff utility man Callum Paterson was called up following the withdrawal of Shankland and McBurnie.

The uncapped Lyndon Dykes is the only recognised centre-forward in the squad although wide man Oli Burke has previously played through the middle.