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Newcastle striker linked with Scotland switch

Andy Carroll - who has represented England at under 19 and under 21 levels - may be asked to play for Scotland.

Newcastle striker linked with Scotland switch

Andy Carroll will be asked by Craig Levein to consider switching his international allegiance from England to Scotland. The Newcastle striker, who has already represented England at under 19 and under 21 level, qualifies for Scotland through his grandmother.

The giant forward – who is 6ft 4in – has scored four times for Newcastle this season in their quest to return to the English Premier League at the first time of asking. Aged 21, he turned down an approach from Archie Knox three years ago to join the Scotland youth setup.

It is believed that Levein will be in attendance at St James’ Park on Wednesday night to watch Carroll turn out for the Magpies against Plymouth Argyle in their FA Cup replay.

Newcastle’s first team coach Colin Calderwood – who won 36 Scotland caps – may also be relied upon to lean on the player in an attempt to get him to give up on his England dreams for a fast track route to the full Scotland squad.

Carroll has been prolific at international level with England’s youth level teams. He scored on his under 19 debut against Belarus in 2008 and went on to score four times in eight appearances. At under 21 level, he has scored twice in four appearances.

He made his Newcastle debut aged just 17, appearing in a Uefa Cup tie against Palermo in 2006 and in turn becoming the club’s youngster ever player in Europe. His first senior goal came in a 2-0 friendly win against Juventus, when he beat Italian number one Gianluigi Buffon with a left foot shot.

Buffon immediately tipped Carroll for great things, saying after the match: "Carroll played like what we call in Italy a paintbrush striker. He was there to add the finishing touch. He played well on his own.

"He will be an asset because he can find the smaller players around him in different ways and has already shown he has great awareness."

A loan spell at Preston North End followed in 2007, during which he scored once in 11 appearances. He marked his Newcastle return with a goal against Stoke as the Magpies battled in vain against relegation from the top flight and subsequently signed a new deal to keep him at the club until 2013.

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