It is pretty clear that Rangers aren’t going to bring in anyone else for the right side of the spine of the team, which is why evidently Leon Balogun, Jack Butland, John Souttar and Nico Raskin are going to become the team’s new leaders.
If there’s one obvious weakness with the squad Michael Beale is building (and there’s a few at this point) it’s the glaring lack of captains and leaders that are there.
Whoever wears the armband, you need leaders all over the pitch – not that long ago it was McGregor, Davis, Arfield, Jack, Goldson and peak James Tavernier who all led the squad throughout the side. Now there’s a massive dearth of alpha personalities in the XI who can gee up the rest.
Which is where Nico, John, Jack and Leon come in.
There is no doubt Balogun commands the respect of the squad – he’s an alpha player and he has an aura around him. Balogun is going to have to step up at the rear with John Souttar as new leaders, big strong alphas who can command around them.
Butland is vocal, and he’s big, and he has a loud voice to him – along with Souttar and Balogun the new goalie is going to have to become a big leader for those in front of him.
And lastly, Raskin.
There’s a lot of word in the press about him as a future captain – well, Barry became captain younger than Raskin currently is; if they’re good enough they’re old enough and Raskin has the grit, determination, hunger and all-round game to justify such an accolade.
But at the very least, he’s leadership material, and he will have to be one of the squad’s new captains, because the old school is fading out now and it’s a new time.
Butland, Balogun, Souttar and Raskin – all strong, all big, and all very much the kind of leaders we need.
Because it doesn’t matter who wears the armband, it’s all down to who the players actually listen to and trust. You need more than one captain at a club as big as Rangers.
And those four are definitely candidates for that.