Rangers need more international-class players

Rangers need more international-class players
Israel's midfielder Bibras Natkho (L) vies with Scotland's midfielder Ryan Jack (R) during the Euro 2020 playoff semi-final football match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park, Glasgow on October 8, 2020. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

We saw some fan media arguing that Ryan Jack’s cameo for Scotland highlighted how abysmal Rangers are when it comes to representation in the national team, with Robby McCrorie only called up due to Angus Gunn’s unavailability/withdrawal.

And it’s absolutely true that our Scotland contingent is dire, with only three players in our squad to speak of – John Souttar, of course, is still not fit.

And Celtic themselves only have three as well – Ralston, Taylor and McGregor, only one of whom is a regular. None of Rangers’ are. Both the Old Firm are dire for this now.

But the bigger picture is the disappointment of how few internationals the squad has overall.

True, injury stops Roofe, Lawrence, Matondo and indeed Souttar from representing their nations regularly, but in general, for a club of Rangers’ standing, there are way too many non-internationals in our team.

The only single regular players Rangers have now who routinely step up for their countries are Jose Cifuentes and Borna Barisic.

And while we have a host of caps, none of them are major regulars, with the likes of Sima, Dessers and Yilmaz only bit-part players or small-time caps for their NTs.

It’s not a great reflection of the built squad that we have so few regular internationals. Gone are the days when tonnes of our players were away on international duty, and while a few short-minded fans would say this is great because no injuries, it also means our players aren’t good enough to be called up.

That James Tavernier and Connor Goldson are the most picked players at Rangers for the last 5-7 years but have never been close to youth call-ups never mind senior ones far less caps gives some idea of where our squad has been for too long. And let’s not use the England excuse – Jack Butland is English too and can boast a much better record.

Indeed, the players we have that just aren’t senior internationals are: Tav, Lundstram, Goldson, Dessers, Cantwell, Lammers, Dowell, Sterling, Wright, Davies, Danilo and Raskin. They’ve either never had a call up, or barely any, or only at youth level.

In this break the only call-ups we had were Cifu, Barisic, Yilmaz, McCrorie and Jack (excluding loans and youths) – a squad of 30 players and only five senior call ups, injury notwithstanding.

We really look forward to the day when we have a lot more players representing their clubs with distinction on the international stage.

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