Yesterday’s call ups were certainly interesting – Rangers contributed three men to this, our stalwart midfielder Ryan Jack (of course), on-loan at Livi Robby McCrorie, and our current seeming number one, Jon McLaughlin.
We’ll talk about the former two elsewhere, but the rise of McLaughlin to this level of prominence is absolutely fascinating.
The giant stopper has impressed at Ibrox, and yes, we admit we’ve not really focused on him at all yet, but his all-round game has been solid, and so much so that he currently has the shirt despite Allan McGregor being fit again.
It’s intriguing though, McLaughlin has two caps for Scotland but hasn’t been a particularly important part of the national set up – indeed, we’d wager a guess the bulk of our fans barely even knew who he was when we signed him, and we can’t exactly say a League One goalie seemed like a marquee addition this summer.
When we look at his career, other than his spell at Hearts, his time in the game has been a journeyman route through the English lower leagues.
He got called up for Scotland 16 times, which is admittedly fairly honourable, but it wasn’t obvious calibre to be Rangers number one.
What a difference the shirt makes.
Having had a good start to life at Ibrox, McLaughlin is back in the national setup, but of greater prominence than before. He may well start v Israel and the Czechs, and now we finally get to our point:
Aged 32, McLaughlin’s move to Ibrox may well have opened up big doors for him, doors that remained shut at every other club he’s been with.
He’s now at Scotland’s premier club, and he’s currently first choice – and he’s another one benefitting from Rangers’ global clout, domestic size and just who we are.
We made Alfredo Morelos, and we might be the late blossoming of Jon McLaughlin as well.
He’s made a good start to his new career, the only one who might not be so thrilled with that is McGregor himself…