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Popular Watford winger Ikechi Anya earns first Scotland call-up
Watford’s likeable winger Ikechi Anya has been called up to the Scotland squad for the first time.
The Glasgow-born winger has continually improved since he arrived at Vicarage Road last summer and has become a first-team regular.
The 25-year-old will be in the Scotland squad for their World Cup qualifiers with Belgium at Hampden Park on Friday, September 6 and away to Macedonia the following Tuesday.
Anya has made 32 appearances for the Hornets in the last 12 months and has started all three league games this season, having joined the club permanently in the summer He started his career at Wycombe Wanderers, where he broke into the side at the age of 16 in 2004 and was highly thought of at the club but then a knee injury stunted his development and he was released by the Chairboys.
The winger, who plays wing-back for the Hornets, had the option to join Northampton Town that summer but he was still struggling with the injury and decided to join Oxford City, near where he was living at the time.
A spell at Halesowen Town followed and Anya admitted he feared his hopes of playing professional football may be over.
But a recommendation from former Wycombe Wanderers boss John Gorman secured him a trial with the Glenn Hoddle Academy and as they say, the rest is history.
He moved over to Spain as part of the development programme and played for Sevilla and Celta Vigo's reserve sides before earning a move to Granada in 2011.
He spent the next season on loan at Cadiz before moving to Watford last summer.
Scotland were training at the Hornets' London Colney training ground during the last international break when it is understood head coach Gianfranco Zola discussed Anya with Scotland boss Gordon Strachan.
Matt Gilks (Blackpool)
David Marshall (Cardiff City)
Allan McGregor (Hull City)
Craig Samson (Kilmarnock)
Ikechi Anya (Watford)
Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers)
Alan Hutton (Aston Villa)
Russell Martin (Norwich City)
Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic)
Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)
Charlie Adam (Stoke City)
Barry Bannan (Aston Villa)
George Boyd (Hull City)
Scott Brown (Celtic)
Craig Conway (Cardiff City)
Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion)
James Forrest (Celtic)
James McArthur (Wigan Athletic)
James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion)
Steven Naismith (Everton)
Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City)
Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Jamie Mackie (Nottingham Forest)
Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic)
Ross McCormack (Leeds United)
Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)
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