John Souttar’s call-up to the national squad, and almost certainly as a first-pick, is a just reward for his stonking return to the Rangers side, where the ex-Hearts man has proven many of his Ibrox doubters wrong and has transcended to be regarded by many supporters, even at this early stage, as the club’s finest stopper.
While so many held his bad backpass against him, Ibrox Noise was one of the few to defend the lad, pointing out that aside it, his performance had been close to flawless, and statistically had exceeded Connor Goldson in the 2-2 last year.
We stood by that, and knew it was only a matter of time before this exceptional defender was finally winning the support over with the kind of top quality performances that had him excel at Dundee Utd and Hearts.
He’s at a perfect age, 26, and it is Ibrox Noise’s conviction it is he, and absolutely not Goldson, that Rangers must build the defence around next season.
If the ex-Brighton defender is to be HIS partner, then we’ll accept that (a little grudgingly) but Souttar’s peerless displays, particularly his strong showing against Celtic in the 3-0, not to mention that nearly-flawless afternoon in the cup final in from the cold, showed that the lad should be the top dog at the back now.
Many have exalted him as a future Rangers captain – well, Ryan Jack didn’t happen, Scotty Arfield clearly didn’t, and while we’re not going to make piffle up about the lad being a boyhood Rangers fan or anything, Souttar has shown major leadership qualities and has a strong personality.
Given what he’s been through the past 12 months, he needs one.
But that’s all down the line – Souttar’s redemption was this call-up. First the massive goal v Celtic, second, returning to the national fold as, by some distance, the country’s best defender.
He’s earned it, and thanks to his excellent performances, he earns forgiveness for that foolish lie that cost his season.
Welcome back John Souttar.