CHARLIE Nicholas has expressed his surprise that Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has chosen to play for Scotland over England.

The 21-year-old this week pledged his international future to Scotland after a breakthrough season at Old Trafford.

McTominay has become a regular under Jose Mourinho in recent weeks, featuring in the Red Devils’ last four league games as well and their Champions League last 16 draw with Sevilla.

But Sky Sports pundit and former Celtic and Arsenal striker Nicholas, who earned 20 caps for Scotland during his playing days, questioned the youngster’s ambition in the wake of his decision.

"I'm surprised that he has chosen Scotland as I honestly didn't think he would,” he said.

"It is tough to say until we hear what he has to say about it but if you believe in yourself and your ability then I would have thought it would be a fairly straight-forward decision to choose England.

"He was born in England and sounds like he's English so I'm not sure how having a Scottish father is a stronger reason than where you are from. It sounds like his father has picked it more than him."

Nicholas is also frustrated at the trend of Scotland picking players who are eligible through the ancestry rule.

"We used to source kids who were eligible when they were 13 or 14 and I really hated the fact that our country went after English players and thought it stunk of desperation,” he said.

"I've also felt like it takes something away from our identity. We may not have the most talented players but they are grafters and have to be passionate about representing their country.

"A lot of guys are just coming to play for us to top up their CVs and boost their sponsors, so it doesn't sit well with me.

"It is also unfair on the players who will miss out on playing for their country but it is the clubs' fault, not letting their players play in the youth teams and allowing it to get to this stage."