Sheffield United club record signing Oli McBurnie has been criticised by former Scotland international Michael Stewart.

McBurnie started upfront for the Scots on Friday as they lost 2-1 at home to Russia in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

Tonight they face Belgium and Stewart does not want the Blades striker to play.

“Oli McBurnie should not get the chance to wear the Scotland No .9 shirt against Belgium,” he wrote in the Scottish Sun.

“How to fill that jersey is the biggest question facing Steve Clarke right now. But McBurnie is not the answer.

“For a £20m striker he can’t run, he can’t hold up the ball, he doesn’t link well, he doesn’t shoot.

“That Sheffield United paid so much money for him isn’t McBurnie’s fault. It just shows you how mad England has become.”

Should Blades be concerned by McBurnie Scotland form?

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It has been a tough time for the 23-year-old and his involvement with the national team. Ahead of this latest international break, McBurnie got himself into trouble with the Tartan Army.

The forward was filmed by the Blades’ media team making fun of the Scotland setup with teammate John Fleck. McBurnie says it was a joke, but still apologised to manager Steve Clarke and the rest of the squad.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me,” McBurnie told the Herald. “It was stupid to put myself in that position. It was a private conversation in the dressing-room and five seconds was taken out of context.

“No-one heard the rest of the conversation. But nonetheless it looked terrible and it was stupid from me.

“I don’t want people thinking that coming up here for Scotland is a chore or I don’t want to do it. If it was, I wouldn’t come. I love playing for Scotland, it was just a stupid thing said in a dressing-room.”

While things may be a little tricky for McBurnie at international level currently, he has made a fine start to life at Bramall Lane.

The Scot scored his first goal for his new club in the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Leicester City. That earned the £20m signing from Swansea City a start against Chelsea the next game. He helped the Blades come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

They return to league action at home to Southampton this weekend and McBurnie will be hoping to play a key role once again.

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