Rangers’ Abdallah Sima goes worryingly alone to the AFCON

Rangers’ Abdallah Sima goes worryingly alone to the AFCON
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 21: Rangers Cyriel Dessers celebrates his teams fourth goal with Abdullah Sima during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Hibernian FC at Ibrox Stadium on October 21, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

While many Rangers fans will be glad the club only has a single representative at either AFCON or the Asia Cup, in Senegal’s Abdallah Sima, that a club as mighty as the Famous has just one player at two continental championships combined is not really ideal.

Even Ayr United have someone at this. Even FORFAR have someone.

Yes, it’s a bad inconvenience to lose your players midseason, and even Philippe Clement ‘jokingly’ was very upset to lose Sima for this month, but you WANT your players to get these call ups.

Sure, the manager doesn’t want to be without key players at key times, but it’s a reflection of your squad’s quality to have international recognition, and to say Rangers are completely underwhelming on that front these days is putting it mildly.

While there’s a few ex-internationals like Butland and Balogun, and a few fringe ones like Sima and Barisic, Rangers don’t actually have a single player who is a true genuine regular for their country (any country) and a first-pick.

Cyriel Dessers was, understandably, overlooked for Nigeria at AFCON, and aside him that’s the only other player Rangers had to offer.

It’s so far below not good enough.

Even for our Scottish national team we basically have no representatives and yes, Ibrox Noise has whined about this forever, but it is literally amazing to have a squad at the expense Rangers have spent on the players and none of them be a legitimate international.

The closest we have are Barisic, Jack, Lawrence (former?) and Cifuentes and only two of them have more than 19 caps.

One of the strongest barometers of a squad’s credibility is its number of regular internationalists. When even Alloa Athletic had a player at the AFCON (not even kidding) and Rangers can only manage one for their own part it’s a damning stat.

Must do better.

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