Just 5 senior Rangers call ups? Clement already took action in January

Just 5 senior Rangers call ups? Clement already took action in January
LISBON, PORTUGAL - MARCH 07: Fabio Silva of Rangers celebrates after teammate Dujon Sterling (not pictured) scores his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between SL Benfica and Rangers FC at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on March 07, 2024 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

It must be said that, regardless of injuries, Rangers’ international call ups this break now gone really were a damning indictment of the squad previous managers have built.

That only five senior players of a 34-player squad were called up for their national teams speaks a lot for the improvements which are still needed in Rangers’ group.

Only Fabio Silva was called up for youth aside the usual Scotland lads, and that totals 9 call ups entirely.

Of course, we do add that caveat of injuries, plus that some teams weren’t actually playing like Belgium U21s with Raskin, but then, how many injured players would be call ups? Sima possibly, and Tom Lawrence doesn’t seem to be in favour with Robert Page.

However, it’s very telling that Diomande is involved in a tug of war between Ghana and the Ivory Coast, Oscar Cortes has Colombia caps, and Silva is a Portugal U21 regular.

In short, Philippe Clement has already signed three players breaking into their national team scenes, be it youth or senior.

This is what we want.

We can whine about injuries away on international duty yes, but we want a squad that’s so good most of its player are internationals, and have big price tags attached.

2022 was actually not bad there – Ridvan, Colak, Matondo, Tillman and Lawrence were past or present internationals, just Ben Davies wasn’t.

Last year? Sterling, Dowell, Butland, Dessers, Danilo, Lammers, Sima, Cifu and technically Balogun.

Former internationals in Butland and Balogun, fringe ones in Dessers, Sima and Cifu.

But of all of the above mentioned players, only Ridvan, Matondo and Dessers remain as internationals, with the latter two being a recall.

Of course, in the grand scheme, how many internationals Rangers have doesn’t matter if Rangers win the league, but we do sense Philippe Clement is trying to improve this by bringing in more players playing at that level meaning our team gets stronger.

January was evidence of this.

In theory, we’d like that to continue.

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