Aaron Hickey pulls out of Scotland U21 squad as Bologna star asks for a rest

Aaro Hickey has withdrawn from the Scotland U21 squad to face Kazakhstan and Belgium as the Bologna star’s wait for a first U21 cap goes on.

The full-back – linked with AC Milan last week – wants to rest after returning from shoulder surgery in the summer to make 12 Serie A appearances this season.

Scot Gemmill has confirmed the former Hearts youngster has dropped out of his squad ahead of the must-win clash at Tannadice on Friday.

Hickey has pulled out two previous under 21 squads through injury but Gemmill says he has to respect the player’s decision.

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The boss said: “Aaron has had to withdraw from the squad. He’s not injured. He’s asked to rest.

“Aaron feels he’s played a lot of games, he had surgery in the summer and he feels he needs to prepare for his next game in Serie A.

“We have to respect his decision. He is a young player who knows what he needs. I have to concentrate on the players who are here. We have a big game on Friday and another one on Tuesday.

“We are concentrating on preparing the players that are here and hopefully we get to work with Aaron in the future.”

Scotland currently sit fourth in Group I with one point from two games ahead of the clash with bottom side Kazakhstan.

Gemmill’s side then face leaders Belgium at Tannadice next Tuesday with the Red Devils having already won all four of their opening matches.

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