David Bates: Hamburg's ex-Rangers defender 'can be Scotland success story'

David Bates in action for Hamburg
Bates has played 11 games for Hamburg this season, and also won four Scotland Under-21 caps
Nations League League C, Group 1: Albania v Scotland
Venue: Loro Borici Stadium, Shkoder Date: Saturday, 17 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Hamburg defender David Bates "has all the attributes to be a real success story for Scotland over the years," says ex-Rangers team-mate Kenny Miller.

The 22-year-old could win his first cap in the forthcoming Nations League games against Albania and Israel, as one of only three centre-backs in the squad.

"He is a great lad and works very, very hard," Miller told BBC Sportsound.

"He is a very good defender, very quick, strong. If he gets the nod, I am sure he won't let anyone down."

Bates received his first senior call-up this week with Charlie Mulgrew joining the likes of injured Hearts duo John Souttar and Christophe Berra on the sidelines.

Aberdeen's Michael Devlin has subsequently been forced to withdraw, leaving Bates to compete with Celtic's Jack Hendry - Devlin's replacement - for a possible starting spot alongside Scott McKenna for Saturday's match in Albania, with Celtic's Kieran Tierney another option depending on Alex McLeish's preferred formation.

'I am hearing rave reviews about him'

Bates caused something of a stir earlier this year when he signed a four-year-deal with German outfit Hamburg as a free agent, having only played 28 senior games with Rangers.

He started his senior career at League Two East Stirling, with spells at Raith Rovers in the Championship, and Brechin City in League One, before moving to Ibrox in the summer of 2016.

"I had 18 months with him at Rangers, and he is one of those lads that needs to play," added veteran striker Miller, now at Dundee.

"You could see big Batesy had all the attributes. He has gone over to Bundesliga2 and I am hearing rave reviews about him. I hear bigger teams in Germany are reportedly sniffing around him about a possible move in January, or at the end of the season.

"It shows the character of the boy that he has gone to that level. He could have stayed at Rangers or somewhere closer to home, but he has taken the plunge and decided to try something different. By all accounts it has worked out great for him."

After Saturday's match in Shkoder, Scotland return home to host Israel next Tuesday, 20 November.

Israel lead League C Group 1 by three points but have played a game more than Scotland.

Scotland group
Scotland group table after Israel beat Albania 2-0

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Scott Bain (Celtic), Jamie MacDonald (Kilmarnock), Allan McGregor (Rangers).

Defenders: Scott McKenna (Aberdeen), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen), Kieran Tierney (Celtic), David Bates (Hamburg), Jack Hendry (Celtic).

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Celtic), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Callum Paterson (Cardiff City), Scott McTominay (Manchester United).

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City), Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion), Johnny Russell (Sporting Kansas City).

My Scotland team to face Albania