Every Premier League Team’s Best Scottish Player of the Modern Era

It’s St Andrew’s Day. Not a very good St Andrew’s Day, granted, considering most of Scotland is in a Level 4 lockdown, but St Andrew’s Day nonetheless.

And we wouldn’t be 90min if we let a St Andrew’s Day go by without an over the top celebration of Scotland’s contributions to the Premier League.

Here, we’ve taken a look at every current top-flight club’s best Scottish player, because why the hell not?

Pedro NetoKieran TierneyPedro NetoKieran Tierney
Tierney has hit the ground running in north London | Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images

Tierney has already made more Premier League appearances for Arsenal than any other Scottish player, so wins almost by default.

£10 to the first person to guess the other two without Googling it.

John McGinnJohn McGinn
McGinn is a key part of the Villa side | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Villa have a proud tradition of bringing Scottish players to the club, but few have hung around for long – Ross McCormack, there between 2016 and 2019, is their longest serving since the 1980s.

A case could be made for Alan Hutton (instead we’ll get to him later) but it’s their current midfield maestro and his ground-level centre of gravity that makes the cut.

Jamie MurphyJamie Murphy
Anyone remember Jamie Murphy at Brighton? No? | Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Jamie Murphy only made four Premier League appearances for Brighton. But he also seems to be the only Scottish player to make any Premier League appearances for Brighton.

So there we are.

Big Chris Iwelumo was nowhere near as rubbish as his infamous famous miss for Scotland suggested.

The first of his international caps came while he was on an absolute tear for Wolves in 2008, and he went on to become a fairly steady Championship striker for Burnley.

Don’t come at me about Scott Arfield or Phil Bardsley when one of them declared for Canada and the other is Phil Bardsley.

I’m not actually interested in the fact that other, better Scottish players might have played for Chelsea over the years. Steve Clarke qualifies, so you can sit down.

The current Scotland boss, tactical shithouse extraordinaire that he is, was named right-back in their Centenary XI in 2005, and made over 150 Premier League appearances for the Blues.

A product of the Hamilton Accies academy that continues to fund their top-flight budget to this day despite them having no actual supporters, McArthur has continued to exist in the Premier League for about a decade now.

He rarely does much more than that, granted, and has been frozen out of the Scotland set-up due to their avalanche of midfield talent, but anyway, here he is.

Carlo Ancelotti, Duncan FergusonCarlo Ancelotti, Duncan Ferguson
Big Dunc now brings his unique brand of enthusiasm to the coaching team | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Everton have kept all the Scotland to themselves. Davie Weir, James McFadden and Steven Naismith might all have a case for themselves, but actually they don’t, because Big Dunc existed.

It’s possible that there hasn’t been a better header of the ball in the history of the Premier League.

He’s also proud owner of the best Wikipedia page in the history of football. Seriously, look.

“In 2001, two burglars broke into Ferguson’s home in Rufford, Lancashire. Ferguson confronted them and was able to detain one of them, who subsequently spent three days in hospital.”

It’s always fun when a player, who speaks with an English accent owing to being born and raised in England, rejects England to play for Scotland.

Cairney, who has a genuine chance of representing his paternal nation at this summer’s Euros, will now be pleased with his choice.

He’s a modern day Fulham legend and edges out the slightly less legendary (from a Fulham perspective, anyway) John Collins. Not to be confused with Collins John.

Alan Smith, Stephen McPhail, Dominic MatteoAlan Smith, Stephen McPhail, Dominic Matteo
Matteo celebrates a goal against Blackburn | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Understated and underrated throughout his career, Matteo hit his peak as a key part of the Leeds team that made the semi-finals of the 2001 Champions League.

He opened the scoring agains† Milan at the San Siro, heading in the goal that eventually sent them through to the knockout stage, and was appointed captain following Rio Ferdinand’s departure for Manchester United.

The pinnacle of journeyman Premier League strikers, Dickov racked up substantial mileage and earned himself cult-hero status all over the country over the course of his 22-year career.

Leicester and Manchester City have both hit heights since that edge him out of legendary status but he was a regular source of goals for both clubs – in his first spell with each, at least.

He managed 10 caps for his country, all of which came between his arrival at Maine Park and his first departure from Leicester.

Kenny Dalglish annoyingly never featured for Liverpool in the Premier League era, resigning as their manager in 1991 – just as the new era came into force.

There’s only one choice, then, and it’s not Gary McAllister or Charlie Adam.

Darren FletcherDarren Fletcher
Ferguson in one of his final matches for United | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Outside of Everton, United probably have the best pool to choose from. In that they have two genuine contenders.

Darren Fletcher’s longevity, however, edges out Brian McClair’s explosive brilliance.

Did anyone else know that Phil Bardsley made 18 appearances for United, by the way? That’s a revelation.

Matt Ritchie, Matt DohertyMatt Ritchie, Matt Doherty
Ritchie takes off against Tottenham | Clive Rose/Getty Images

It’s shameful that a club in the north east of England have so few Scottish players to choose from. Sort it out, Newcastle.

It’s basically Ritchie or Ryan Fraser, and given the latter has only been there 10 minutes, it’s a walkover for the Gosport-born winger/left-back/whatever he is.

Don HutchinsonDon Hutchinson
Hutchison celebrates scoring against Watford | Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

“Known to fans and fellow players as ‘Budweiser’ following a drunken incident in Ayia Napa when he had appeared covering his genitals with a Budweiser beer label, he was allowed to leave West Ham in January 1996.”

Need we say more?

Hutchison was a great player at one point or another for both the Irons and the Blades, though was well known for his hot temper. He averaged a booking every four games in his first spell at Upton Park.

Liverpool's John Arne Riise (L) challengLiverpool's John Arne Riise (L) challeng
Telfer challenges John Arne Riise | PAUL BARKER/Getty Images

Part of Gordon Strachan’s south coast revolution in the early 2000s, Telfer was signed as a central midfielder but quickly found himself filling in at right-back.

He made more than 100 appearances for the club over four years, and was rarely outstanding, but did the job.

Stuart Armstrong might soon be chapping on the door, granted.

Laugh laugh laugh away but there was a point in the not too distant past where Alan Hutton was a genuinely good Premier League defender.

He was a central part of Harry Redknapp’s Spurs in 2010/11 though there were seasons that followed where he would be a regular for Scotland despite not playing a single game at club level.

And for the record, Spurs’ Twitter account almost fails to recognise Hutton. So we had to put in Villa’s appreciation of him instead.

James MorrisonJames Morrison
Morrison was West Brom’s one man highlight reel | Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Morrison was once one of Scottish football’s great hopes, but his generation didn’t quite hit the heights expected.

He was a terrific servant to West Brom, however, and was a regular source of creativity throughout seven years in the Midlands.

He made 341 appearances and now works as a coach with their under-23s.