Breaking News: Leeds United’s Liam Cooper v John Souttar tipped for last Scotland spot – Tom English

John Souttar could be up against Liam Cooper for the final spot in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad after strong Rangers form, according to Tom English.

The BBC Scotland journalist said on the Scottish Football Podcast (22 March) that the group for the Euros likely has 22 of the 23 places already decided, and suggested it would be between the Ibrox centre-back and the Leeds United captain for the final spot if the manager opts for extra defensive cover.

Souttar, 27, has established himself as a regular starter under Philippe Clement and has arguably outshone Connor Goldson in recent weeks.

After English ran through his presumed picks for the squad he said (9m 40s): “That’s 22, so there’s one more for me. Now is that an extra defender or an extra midfielder, and if it is who is it?”

“Did you mention Liam Cooper?” asked Liam McLeod.

“No,” replied English, “I didn’t mention Liam Cooper and I didn’t mention John Souttar. If it’s an extra defender you suspect it’s going to be one of those.”

Rangers defender fighting to impress Steve Clarke

If it is a 50-50 battle between Souttar and Cooper, both of whom are in the current squad for then the Gers man surely has the edge right now, given his opposite number hasn’t been starting for Daniel Farke in the Championship for some time.

The Rangers defender has taken a while to justify his arrival from Hearts but having finally managed to stay fit for a sustained period he has been in some of his best form for the club since Clement made him the clear number two at the position.

Neither he nor Goldson came away from the surprise defeat to Motherwell covered in glory but on the whole Souttar’s defensive work has been strong, and his quality on the ball has been highly impressive.

stand-out showing in the 1-0 loss to Benfica in the Europa League wasn’t enough to prevent Rangers being knocked out of Europe but showed his quality on the big stage.

Clarke may be minded to pull a surprise or go in a different direction entirely, but Souttar has managed to put together a strong run at just the right time to give himself a solid chance of going to Germany in the summer.

If he can help lift the SPFL title or the Scottish Cup then it would surely boost those chances hugely.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*