The Watford player has been given his first Scotland call-up for the World Cup double-header against Belgium and Macedonia, as revealed in Herald Sport yesterday. Anya was released by Wycombe Wanderers and drifted around small clubs in England before securing a deal in Spain via Glenn Hoddle's Football Academy in Andalucia.
Anya is an unknown quantity to most Scotland supporters but Strachan and his staff have been watching him since the start of the year and he narrowly missed out on being included in the squad to face England at Wembley.
Anya, who was born in Glasgow to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother, began his career as a right winger but was listed as a defender in the official SFA squad released yesterday.
"He has pace," said Strachan. "At the moment his perfect position is wing-back. He can play left or right wing-back. He's tidy with the ball, he does the simple things well and he can go by people. Hopefully he can add to the squad. I spoke to him last night and he's excited, he's delighted to be coming along.
"He's taken a wee while to come through but he's not played many games in his career. It has been hard, hard work for him to get where he is. He's one of these guys who might have thought 'am I gonna do this' but he kept plugging through so that shows that he has a bit of determination about him.
"We've kept an eye on him. He maybe should have been in the England squad but we wanted to keep faith with the guys who were in Croatia [where Scotland won in June]. I explained that to him and he was fine."
Scotland face Group A leaders Belgium at Hampden on Friday, September 6, which amounts to another formidable fixture following the trips to Croatia and England.
"It doesn't get any easier, does it," said Strachan. "But we are feeling not too bad about ourselves. I'm over the Wembley defeat now and I'm looking forward to the next game."