Johnny Russell has been setting Major League Soccer on fire this spring, most recently bagging a hat-trick against Vancouver Whitecaps on the weekend to take his goal tally to five in eight matches.
Russell controversially left Derby County for Sporting Kansas City in January, but his impressive form in America should convince Alex McLeish to recall the 28-year-old to the Scotland set-up.
After 182 appearances and 30 goals over five years at Pride Park, the winger departed England for a shock move to Sporting Kansas City in MLS.
The winger had scored five goals and provided two assists in the first half of the 2017/18, yet left the Rams just 12 days after playing 90 minutes in their 0-0 draw with Bristol City in late January.
Yet the Scot has been thriving across the Atlantic and showed his devastating finishing qualities during Kansas City’s 6-0 demolition of Vancouver on 20 April.
Russell’s first goal was a lashed first-time finish from the edge of the box after receiving an intelligent cutback, and just six minutes later he had doubled his goal haul.
The winger cut in with precision from the left wing and drove past multiple defenders before slotting home a low drive at the near post. It was a wonderful individual goal that was a fine reward for his rampant opening quarter of the match.
And his third goal was perhaps the pick of the bunch. Russell took a short corner from the right wing, exchanged a one-two and delicately chipped the ball from a tight angle over the keeper.
The 28-year-old’s sublime hat-trick is evidence of his unique talents, and although his exploits have come in a weakened league, they are deserving of praise nonetheless.
With upcoming away friendlies approaching in Peru and Mexico in late May, McLeish should strongly consider granting Russell his first cap since 2015.
Given the geographic proximity and the winger’s outstanding form, Johnny Russell seems set to feature for his country in the midst of his American revival.