High-profile reported Rangers target John Souttar continued his magnificent comeback from a series of injuries with a stand out performance on his return to the Scotland set-up.
Hearts centre-back Souttar, 25, opened the scoring for Scotland in a 2-0 win over Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark to help book the nation a seeded place in the World Cup Playoffs.
The Scotland number 5 found himself in the Danish six-yard box and continued his fine scoring form for the Jambos by nodding in a corner which had been headed back across goal.
This was a potentially seminal performance by Steve Clarke’s side and Souttar’s performance was the toast of Hampden Park come full-time.
With his contract running down at Tynecastle – and his club form as consistent and impressive this season as his performance against the Danes – this match will have done little to dampen any competition around the player’s signature.
Rangers target John Souttar the “story of the night” for Scotland
After the match, Steve Clarke praised the centre-back as the “story of the night” following a collective team performance which has inspired the increasingly expectant Tartan Army.
“John Souttar can be the story tonight,” said Clark [Scotland National Team].
“To come back from the injuries John had, over a long period of time, it was a bonus – and I know how happy he was – just to be in the squad, and to get the chance to play tonight.
“And to play the way he did – the goal was the icing on the cake for me – his performance was outstanding, so congratulations to John.
“I gave him a big hug as he came off.
“It was quite emotional, you understand when you have been a player yourself and been involved in the game for so long how difficult it is to come back so I am delighted for him.”
Souttar continues to impress in the Scottish Premiership and as a result both Rangers and Old Firm rivals Celtic have been linked to the defender [Daily Record].
There’s a genuine consensus – something rare in Rangers circles – that Souttar would be a solid and cost effective signing should we manage to convince him to come to Ibrox.
English Championship outfits Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers have also been extensively mentioned, but we suspect there may well be a few more watching eyes after his performance on the international stage.
Scotland can now look forward to a World Cup Playoff tie in March and know they will play the one-off semi-final leg of the clash at Hampden, seeded due to their group performance.
A Rangers loanee also has cause for celebration after helping his side to a place at Qatar 2022 with a goal from the penalty spot.