Rangers hero and Celtic icon debate why they 'wouldn't be surprised' if Ibrox star earns Euros wildcard

Archie Gray has impressed England bos Gareth Southgate. Image: OBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesArchie Gray has impressed England bos Gareth Southgate. Image: OBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty Images
Archie Gray has impressed England bos Gareth Southgate. Image: OBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty Images
The Rangers goalkeeper agonisingly missed out on a long-awaited recall to Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad

Barry Ferguson reckons there is still hope that Rangers goalkeeper Jack Butland could earn a late Euro 2024 wildcard, despite missing out on the latest Three Lions squad.

The 31-year-old shot stopper was left disappointed after being snubbed by Gareth Southgate following his squad announcement for the upcoming friendly double-header against Brazil and Belgium, having been widely tipped for a long-awaited recall.

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Southgate opted to select Everton No.1 Jordan Pickford, Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone of Crystal Palace instead of Butland, who has been in scintillating form between the posts since joining the Gers on a free transfer in the summer.

He has kept 17 clean sheets in 29 Scottish Premiership games this term, which subsequently alerted England national team coaches. Southgate's decision was a surprise to legendary ex-Gers captain Ferguson, with Ramsdale making only 11 starts so far this campaign and Johnstone drifting in and out of the Palace team.


Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show, Ferguson said: "I tell you something, he must be really disappointed to not get into that England squad, and I'm not just saying that because he's Rangers goalkeeper. I look at the three goalkeepers, and I know (Jordan) Pickford's the number one, Sam Johnstone and (Aaron) Ramsdale are the other ones but I personally think Jack's as good as them if not better.

"But listen I liked his interview after it, he was disappointed but he just needs to get his head down and continue to work hard and hopefully try and get into that squad for the Euros. It doesn't look like it. I thought this would maybe have been his chance to showcase what he's done all season." 

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Fellow pundit and ex-Celtic star Peter Grant waded in by suggesting Butland would have "no problems" fitting back into the England set-up ahead of this summer's finals in Germany.

"I genuinely wouldn't be surprised if he did (get called up)," Grant admitted. "Obviously Pickford's number one as you say, but I genuinely think he's not the sort of guy you would need to take and get to know the group. He's such a nice boy, he's such a good boy.

"He would have no problem going into a new group so it's not as if you need to say you'll bring him along, not play him any minutes and then he needs to intertwine with the group or whatever. He could go in there, absolutely no problems. So, I still wouldn't be surprised if he goes to the Euros, and for me he deserves to be in there anyway."

Ferguson then pointed to Butland's leadership qualities and goalkeeping exploit this season, playing down any rumours of him leaving Ibrox for a return to the Premier League in the summer.

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He added: "I've seen him enough and it's not just his saves. He's very vocal at the back as well. He's obviously grew into a real leader as he's got older, and listen he just needs to keep producing the goods that he's done with Rangers all season. 

"I'm not surprised that clubs are going to be looking at him but he's at an age, when I've spoken to him, he really enjoys it. He enjoys the intensity, he enjoys the pressure side of it, and I'm unsure that he would get that if he goes back down to like a bottom half Premier League team. So, hopefully he's here at Rangers for a few more years yet."