Sunderland striker Ross Stewart was this week called up to the Scotland national team for the first time in his career. The striker has excelled for the Black Cats this season, scoring 22 goals so far and producing consistently impressive performances. The former Ross County hitman joined Sunderland in January 2021 and has become a fan favourite on Wearside. Calls for the 25-year-old to be given a chance at international level have been growing and this week he was given his reward for a fine season.
Sunderland Striker Ross Stewart Deserves International Recognition
Eyebrows Raised When Signed
When Sunderland signed Ross Stewart during the winter transfer window of 2021, eyebrows were raised as to whether the Scot had the ability to succeed in the English game. 28 goals in 82 games for Ross County in the Scottish Championship and Premiership suggested that he was not the prolific scorer needed to fire Sunderland to promotion.
Three goals in 13 games followed as Sunderland failed to gain promotion. However, Stewart had shown that he had adapted to the English game and could prove to be a good signing in time.
Excelled in First Full EFL Season
Sunderland’s top scorer from last season Charlie Wyke left for Wigan Athletic during the summer on a free transfer having failed to agree on a new deal with the Black Cats. His 31 goals in all competitions would be difficult to replace and with a recognised striker not signed, Ross Stewart was Sunderland’s main hope of goals.
If some were unsure that Stewart was the man to score the goals needed to push for promotion, those fears soon faded. A goal on the opening day in the win against Wigan set Stewart up for his best goalscoring season so far in his career. A further 21 goals have followed with the Scot now a firm favourite with fans. Those fans are hoping that the man they have nicknamed the ‘Loch Ness Drogba’ can continue to produce for the remainder of the season and help Sunderland gain promotion.
It is not only his goals that have impressed so far this season. Stewart has become an important part of the team for his work rate also. A team that likes to press their opponents, Stewart has played a vital role for both Lee Johnson and new head coach Alex Neil. Should he be selected to play for Scotland in the upcoming friendlies and display the qualities he has shown this season, he will do well for the Tartan Army.
Ross Stewart Delighted With Recognition
Speaking after his inclusion in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad, Stewart spoke of his delight at the recognition. Speaking to the Daily Record he said: “I feel I have had a good season. I have scored a good number of goals and I am pleased with how I have done although I still want to add to that tally between now and the end of the season.
“It is great to get this recognition. It shows I must be doing something right and I am really looking forward to the next week or so that is ahead, I can’t wait for it.”
“I think my mum and dad were in as much shock as I was when I told them. I owe a lot to them for this happening. It was just a really proud moment for me in general. My parents will be at the game on Thursday and they come down to watch me quite a lot. I think a lot of my other family and mates will also come along.”
Scotland Warm-up for World Cup Play-off With Two Friendlies
Due to their World Cup play-off game against Ukraine being postponed, the Tartan Army will play two warm-up games in preparation for a game they hope will now take place in June. They will first play Poland at Hampden Park on Thursday followed by an away game against the loser of the friendly between Wales and Austria next week.
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