Unfortunately, Scotland’s Rangers players tally is down to one with the latest squad announcement by Alex McLeish this afternoon.
Only Allan McGregor has made McLeish’s cut for the matches against Israel and Portugal this month. Scotland will face Israel in their second UEFA Nations League match before a friendly against the Portuguese just days later.
McGregor has established himself as Scotland’s number one these days. The last set of fixtures against Belgium and Albania just about confirmed that.
Ryan Jack also bagged a couple of appearances for his country after being called up in that squad too. Injury has meant the Rangers midfielder isn’t able to take part in this one.
Below is the three Rangers stars who’ll be looking to get a call-up at some stage before the end of the season:
And speak of the devil, the first one who’ll have eyes on getting into the Scotland fold is Ryan Jack.
Jack was unfortunate in his last appearances for Scotland. Against Belgium, he was notably criticised for making an error that led to one of Belgium’s goals. Thrown in at the deep end comes to mind with that one, and nobody performed well against the Belgians regardless.
It will be extremely tough to break into that Scotland midfield at the moment. With such quality avaialble to McLeish in the form of Kevin McDonald, Stuart Armstrong, and John McGinn, he has options there.
Jack, however, is a more than reliable footballer who can hold his own at a high level. He’s not a world-beater by any means, but he has the ability to do a job for his country if given another chance.
Plenty of Scotland regulars will have worse games than Jack did against the Belgians. Hopefully, for Jack’s sake, he’s allowed another shot by McLeish once he puts his injury woes behind him.
Like Jack, Graham Dorrans has also been capped for Scotland. Indeed, the former West Bromwich Albion star had appeared in 12 matches for Scotland in his career.
Those came during his days down in England. Since coming up to Ibrox, however, Dorrans seems to have been frozen out of contention for Scotland. Gordon Strachan didn’t seem to fancy him over the likes of Barry Bannan. It remains to be seen if McLeish feels the same.
First of all, however, Dorrans has to make sure his injury problems are behind him. The midfielder needed to have ankle surgery in order to get his career back on track. At the moment, he’s just returning from that horrible injury, and has a job on his hands getting in the Rangers side.
We saw a glimpse of his brilliance when he made his return appearance against Villarreal. Jinking his way past several players before playing in Scott Arfield, that was more like the Dorrans we expected to see at Ibrox.
Hopefully his return can spark a renaissance from the Scotsman. If he can make himself a star at Ibrox, then there’s no reason why he can’t follow in Jack’s footsteps and get himself back into the Scotland fold.
This is the only one on the list without a Scotland appearance to his name.
Andy Halliday has had a terrific renaissance under Steven Gerrard this season. Proving himself to be an extremely reliable performer this term, Halliday has had an incredible turnaround.
It wasn’t that long ago that Rangers supporters would’ve been happy to see him leave the club. Such was the standard of his performances last season, losing him wouldn’t have been much of a blow.
Gerrard has come in and instantly managed to put some belief into Halliday that he’s thrived with. Granted, his displays haven’t been anything spectacular, but he’s proving a reliable performer for Gerrard.
He has the ability to play in multiple positions also, which could be useful to McLeish if he was ever struggling with an injury crisis.
Halliday, at the moment, is still a million miles from a Scotland call-up. We all know that. But if he can get himself consistently performing to a high level in this Rangers side, then at 26 years of age, he’s anything but done.