If there is one thing Michael Beale absolutely got right this summer, it was the addition of ex-Man Utd, Stoke and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland.
While it was hard to assess Butland’s qualities in preseason and the first few matches of competitive action, there were glimpses of his attributes and we did await the first big match or two where his ability would shine.
That came in Switzerland, where two or three massive saves showed that Rangers have a goalie now who is infinitely more along the lines of the great stoppers of Rangers’ past, and while he’s not absolutely blown us away McGregor-style with some utterly ridiculous saves, he’s majorly impressed us by being, by a distance, Beale’s best summer signing.
Butland’s big strength is his character. He’s big, strong, but loud and an absolute leader – he did have a bit of a duffer v Morton, but we can forgive that – he’s been mostly imperious.
See, Jack Butland is an experienced Premier League goalkeeper – 87 Premier League appearances compared to 52 from Allan McGregor, and given how good we know Greegsy was for us, Butland has plenty of time on his side to hit the same heights.
He’s certainly a lot taller!
See, McGregor was a big personality but not so physically big – he struggled with claims, and he was often too small to dominate physically in his box – Butland does not have this same issue and he even has a nice Rangersy arrogance about his general conduct in his 18-yard area.
He was the only one with pass marks v PSV which is as much a damning indictment of the rest of the team that day as it is praise of him.
Yes, Butland has been a very good signing, but then, we all knew he would be. Even a blind man could tell Butland was a keeper.
We just need most of the rest of the team to get to that level too.
Is Butland England level? Well, if Jordan Henderson keeps his place with England despite moving to Saudi Arabia, Butland surely, by the force of logic could get a recall with his national side too?
But then, we know Gareth Southgate is a stinking great hypocrite who picks Harry Maguire so we wouldn’t expect too much from him.
At least he’s doing it for Rangers.