Scotland boss Steve Clarke says £25M Lewis Ferguson still isn’t good enough

Scotland boss Steve Clarke says £25M Lewis Ferguson still isn’t good enough
BOLOGNA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 03: Lewis Ferguson of Bologna FC celebrates during the Serie A TIM match between Bologna FC and SS Lazio at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on November 03, 2023 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

It’s not strictly Rangers, but it is a Rangers man in Lewis Ferguson, and Scotland manager Steve Clarke’s comments on him effectively confirm that even if Ferguson becomes the most valuable box-to-box midfielder, or 10, in Serie A, he will struggle to be a fixture for the national side.

In some curious comments, the national boss, who admittedly got his men to this summer’s European Championships in Germany, boasts of Billy Gilmour, John McGinn, Scott McTominay, Ryan Christie and even Kenny McLean of Championship Norwich over the Bologna midfielder.

Now we’re not denying Scotland are very heavily stocked in that position, but for Ferguson to be looking at a move this summer to Milan, Inter, Juve, Lazio or Napoli, with all five heavily interested in signing him at around £25M+ and still be told he is basically only fringe for Scotland is maybe not the best management from his national boss.

Let’s not be naïve – McTominay has a value around £20M, McGinn is around £30M, and Gilmour has hit the £20M range as well. Even Christie is worth over £10M.

But Ferguson is now a clear peer of these guys, but we don’t see top clubs trying to sign any of them, and certainly not five gigantic Italian sides for a fee that would be the highest-ever for a Scottish player.

We don’t quite understand Clarke’s bee in his bonnet over Ferguson, he’s one of the highest-stock players Scotland has, and he had this to say:

“Lewis has just carried on in the same vein. He’s playing really well and really consistently game in game out and it looks like he’s attracting a bit of attention.I watched his last game against Inter. They lost the game, but Lewis was good, as he always is. His performances are very consistent. He plays as a pressing No 10 and does it quite well. But I’ve used John McGinn in that position before and Scott McTominay is actually playing in a very similar position for Man United at the minute. So I’ve got loads of pressing No 10s. Billy Gilmour is playing week in week out at Brighton and Ryan Christie has found another level of performance at Bournemouth now that they have tweaked his position a little bit. Then you’ve got the usuals – McGinn and McTominay. So it’s a strong area of the pitch for us. Lewis understands the situation and he understands that we’re very strong in the midfield area. He knows he’s got to be patient to get his chance. But I’m pretty sure when he gets his chance he’ll be ready for it.”

We don’t deny Scotland have a few in that slot, but Ferguson is growing into a world class player.

Hard to keep a Milan or Napoli or Juve or Inter starter on the bench for his national team…

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