The Courier

Scotland star John Souttar would love Ryan Gauld to attend next Dundee United reunion

John Souttar after missing just missing a chance against Albania.

Scotland defender John Souttar has urged Ryan Gauld to come and join the Dundee United reunion party.

It must have been a potent mix of pain and pride for United fans on Monday night as they watched former Tannadice favourites Souttar, captain Andy Robertson, Stuart Armstrong and Johnny Russell all in action for their country at the same time in the 2-0 Nations League win over Albania.

Throw in Charlie Mulgrew, who had a loan spell at the Tangerines from Celtic in 2006, and 50% of the outfield players who featured in the second half against the Albanians – Armstrong came on at the interval – were ex-United men.

Souttar wants more, though, and would love his former flatmate Gauld, now playing in Portugal on loan at SC Farense, to join in the fun.

“It’s just like the old days at Tannadice!” joked the Hearts central defender.

“We just need Gauldy but hopefully one day that will happen. It’s brilliant to have familiar faces and it’s not so long ago that we were all together.

“We didn’t speak about Scotland when we were at United but there are four of us here now.

“We are just missing Gauldy, who was probably the best one out of the lot of us at the time. I am sure his time will come.”

Ryan Gauld.

There may be fond memories of his United days but Souttar’s focus is now on the Jam Tarts and the national side.

He was a composed and assured figure in a three-man central defence against Albania, enjoying that game a little more than his torrid debut in the 4-0 friendly loss to Belgium on Friday.

Souttar certainly looks the part and you can now see him making the position his own for club and country for a very long time. He certainly hopes so.

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“It’s been a long wait,” said Souttar, who had his Tynecastle gaffer Craig Levein reminding everyone – just in case his Scotland debut was delayed any longer – that he had an Australian granny.

“I have been linked with the squad for a long time as everyone knows but the fact that I went through all that has made it sweeter and made it more enjoyable.

“Now at 21, I feel like I’m ready to mix it physically and mentally in these sort of fixtures.

“It helps how the gaffer sets up. He wants to play football and it suits me down to a T. I enjoyed it.

“Playing for your country is something I dreamed of when I was a boy.

As for the Aussie option, he joked: “Oh my God, I’m absolutely delighted that’s off my back.”