Ally McCoist gives Newcastle star Harvey Barnes three reasons to switch allegiance for Euro 2024

Harvey Barnes could guarantee a starting place at Euro 2024 if he chooses to represent Scotland at international level, according to Ally McCoist.

The talkSPORT presenter and former Scotland international has urged Barnes to switch allegiances ahead of this summer’s European Championship.


Barnes represented England from under-18s through to senior level

The Newcastle winger has previously represented England at senior level, making his debut in a 3-0 friendly win over Wales in 2020, but qualifies to play for Scotland thanks to his grandparents maternal.

Barnes would be allowed to change his nationality under FIFA eligibility rules, which state there must be a three-year gap between a player’s last match for the country he wishes to leave.

And for McCoist, Barnes has three compelling reasons for choosing to abandon the Three Lions for the Tartan Army.

Speaking on talkSPORT Breakfast, he began: “The first reason is he’s going to start.

“Well, I can tell you categorically Harvey without phoning Stevie Clark, you go first. Okay, so here’s your first attractive thing to come up.

That factor would certainly be tempting for Barnes, who scored the winning goal in Newcastle’s recent 4-3 win over West Ham, with stiff competition for starting places in England.

McCoist then promised the Lancashire-born striker instant hero status among Scotland fans if he made the switch: “The Scottish fans will absolutely love you.

“They will love you, they will take your heart. There is the second thing.”

McCoist believes there are several reasons why Barnes is considering switching allegiance to Scotland


McCoist believes there are several reasons why Barnes is considering switching allegiance to Scotland
Barnes scored two goals, including a stunning winner, in Newcastle's last-gasp win over West Ham.


Barnes scored two goals, including a stunning winner, in Newcastle’s last-gasp win over West Ham.Credit: Getty

The 19-goal former Scotland striker completed his argument by reminding Barnes of the comfort that wearing Scottish blue would bring.

He added: “And the third thing is Irn Bru and haggis – you don’t get that playing for England, mate! Plus the square sausage.

Jeff Stelling and Ally McCoist believe talk of a move to Newcastle for Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale could make perfect sense during the summer transfer window.

The 26-year-old would follow in the footsteps of many other English-born players to line up for their old rivals should he choose to make the switch, including current talisman Scott McTominay, from Lancaster.

And McCoist urged Barnes to think about his argument, while also taking aim at Newcastle team-mate Anthony Gordon, who turned down the opportunity to represent Scotland in favor of England.

The 61-year-old addressed the winger: “So it’s something you should think about seriously.

“And when you do, think about it, when you have a good euro, you can come back and rub salt in the wounds of Anthony Gordon who decided not to do it.”

He also assured co-host Jeff Stelling that he would have no qualms about an Englishman representing his nation.

Stelling asked: “You wouldn’t mind playing a boy born in Burnley and raised in Leicestershire, on the Scottish side?

McCoist replied to his colleague: “No, not at all. Coming from a man whose cricketing nation has faced about three English players in the last thirty (years)!”


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