Rangers’ John Souttar finally proves his doubters wrong

Rangers’ John Souttar finally proves his doubters wrong
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 13: John Souttar of Rangers FC acknowledges the fans after the team's victory during the Cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The all-new toast of Rangers fans is now clearly defensive titan John Souttar, whose outstanding display (what an assist) v Hearts may finally just have woken supporters up to just how good a defender he actually is.

Previously regarded as ‘having a mistake in him’ or ‘not that great’, the Scotland international may just have won over a tonne of his doubters with his performances in 2024, and having now secured the centre-back slot as his own for the moment, the former Hearts man was exemplary against his old side.

With a 90% passing level and only less touches than Tavernier and Lundstram, Souttar arguably had his best performance in the shirt and was many supporters’ pick for MOTM.

Winning 5 of his 6 duels, and only losing the ball 7 times of those 83 touches, Souttar was close to faultless on the day, and of course ‘that’ assist for Cyriel Dessers was not unlike the same one from Tav v County, also for Dessers. A real touch of class.

But getting to the real issue, Souttar is, after two full years since actually signing, at long last proving to his misguided doubters how good he is.

Ibrox Noise has backed Souttar from the start, and never gave up on him – he seems to have won over the naysayers at long last.

But it does now mean Leon Balogun, a true Ibrox Noise favourite as well, must contend himself with quite a few seats on the bench.

Of course, the ideal solution is they both start – what a defence that would be. But under no manager since Connor Goldson signed has that ever been a thing, so we may as well forget the idea.

We’d love Philippe Clement to rotate Goldson as much as he does the rest of the team, but for whatever reason, he swears by the ex-Brighton man, so it’s all about who partners him.

And for now that is clearly Souttar.

We absolutely love Balogun, all the time in the world for him, but the boy is now heavily mid-30s and his best years, despite how great he still is, are behind him, while Souttar is entering his and surely has to be first pick going forward.

But there will clearly be rotation.

Clement needed to have four defenders, given Europe and domestic.

He now has that – Goldson, Balogun, Souttar and Davies, and that will do the club till the summer.

He wants to rotate, but that rotation is likely to exclude Tav and Goldson, as it always did.

But with performances like yesterday, we could have Ronald McDonald at the back for all it matters.

Souttar is bang in form, and we can’t see that changing any time soon.

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