Scotland boss Steve Clarke has praised Rangers star Ryan Jack for his contributions over the last week, as quoted by the Scottish Herald.
Injury to Scott McTominay opened up a starting spot in the XI for Jack, who is still inexperienced at international level.
You never would have guessed that based on his performances against Cyprus and Kazakhstan, though, and it seems the man who picked him agrees.
“I thought the balance in midfield in both games with Ryan and Callum was really good,” said Clarke, as quoted by the Scottish Herald. “I’m not really surprised with Ryan because I have obviously seen him up close when I was manager of Kilmarnock. I knew the qualities that he had.”
“The European experience that he’s getting playing with his club will also stand him in good stead. Listen, he has done himself a power of good in the two games.”
“I don’t know because it’s four months away and I don’t know who we’ll have, I don’t know who will be fit,” he added, when asked if Jack would remain in the side for the Nations League play-offs. “That is probably one to speculate on a little bit when we get to March. But that will be a nice choice to have. As a manager I want as many difficult choices as I can get.”
It’s always good to see a Rangers player being praised by an international boss, but particularly satisfying in this case given the lack of representation in Scotland squads in recent times.
Clarke’s side overturned a poor run of form to first secure an impressive away victory, before comfortably getting over the line at Hampden on Tuesday evening.
There’s no doubt that Jack’s involvement helped bring about both wins and clearly he’s given Clarke food for thought going forward.
If McTominay is available, it’ll be tough to keep a player who regularly starts for Manchester United out of the side. Yet, if Jack can continue to build on these displays with strong domestic and European performances for the Gers, it’ll become increasingly difficult to leave him out, too.