ALEX McLeish believes Scott McTominay’s decision to join Scotland on their summer tour of Peru and Mexico has underlined the Manchester United midfielder’s commitment to his adopted homeland.

McTominay, who was born and brought up in Lancashire in England, was courted by Gareth Southgate after enjoying an extended run in Jose Mourinho’s first team earlier this season.

But the 21-year-old, who is eligible to play for Scotland due to a father who hails from Helensburgh, chose to play for McLeish and made his debut against Costa Rica at Hampden in March.

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The fact the midfielder withdrew from the squad for the friendly against Hungary in Budapest after that was seen as ominous by some members of the Tartan Army –a player is only tied to a country when he had been capped in a competitive fixture by them under FIFA rules.

Diego Costa (Brazil and Spain), Jermaine Jones (Germany and the United States) and Nacer Chadli (Morocco and Belgium) have all switched allegiances after turning out for one country in a friendly or friendlies.

But McLeish has never doubted McTominay’s devotion to his side since he travelled to meet him in Manchester to persuade him to play for Scotland.

“Scottie played the first half v Costa Rica and the whole team struggled,” he said. “He started the second half really well, but, unfortunately, I had to make some changes at that time to get others on the pitch and give them minutes. It was a big squad for those games. Scott was just getting momentum when I had to take him off.

“But he is a good kid and he should be absolutely, incredibly empowered by his performances for Manchester United. Jose Mourinho spent, well I don’t know what exactly, but the fact he brought in a kid from the academy while he spent millions on other midfielders says a lot for Scott. He has to mentally absorb all that.”

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Asked if coming on this tour underlined his commitment to Scotland, McLeish said: “Definitely. When I went down to see him I looked in his eyes and I thought: ‘What do I say to him here? Has Gareth called him?’ Or do I say: ‘What do you think?’

“And before I said anything he just said: ‘Just to let you know Alex, I really want to play for Scotland’. With an English accent right enough. He was very, very keen to play for Scotland.

“He is only 21, but he is a big unit with good legs. He is not Graeme Souness yet, he is not Barry Ferguson. But he can aspire to these guys.”