Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo has labelled Lee Wallace as 'Scotland's most promising left-back', despite the defender's international snub.
Wallace was thought to be close to earning a call-up from George Burley for the meeting with Japan on 10th October, but Celtic's Danny Fox received the nod.
Laszlo, though, remains convinced the 22-year-old has a long-term future for Scotland, along with club captain Michael Stewart.
"Friendly internationals give you a chance to try out players and Wallace and Stewart have been performing well," said the Hearts boss in the Daily Record.
"Lee is Scotland's most promising left-back and if he maintains his current form and attitude along with his lifestyle he can be a permanent member of the squad.
"He brings a lot of quality. He is not only young he has speed, the physique and a very good cross and shots. He has scored from this position and can be a long-term solution for Scotland.
"Lee played in the Under 21s and Mike has experience in Europe and at international level. Neither is prone to long-term injury and that is good for the national coach and me."
Meanwhile, Laszlo has remained diplomatic regarding out-of-favour Laryea Kingston's call-up by Ghana for a World Cup qualifier against Benin.
The Hearts boss insists he will not ask the player to pull out of the squad, despite the fact that Ghana have already booked a place in the 2010 finals.
He said: "Ghana have already qualified but it's Larry's decision - I don't force anyone."