Like any club, Glasgow Rangers will seemingly have endured their fair share of missed opportunities with regard to failed transfers, with one notable – and no doubt relevant – example coming in the form of Australian goalkeeper, Mat Ryan.
The 6-foot sensation was reportedly close to sealing a move to Ibrox back in January 2013, with the Old Firm outfit having been keen to take the then-youngster on trial from A-League side Central Coast Mariners.
That potential 10-day stint in Glasgow was initially shelved after the New South Wales-born ace suffered a shoulder injury, only for the trial to then quickly look to be back on, with manager Ally McCoist revealing his excitement at the prospect of getting to see a player of “huge potential” up close.
As it proved, the emerging talent ultimately pulled out of travelling to Scotland due to the uncertainty regarding which league the Light Blues would be playing in the following season, with McCoist’s men at that stage having been operating in the fourth tier during the 2012/13 campaign.
After that notable setback for the Old Firm outfit, Ryan went on to join Belgian side Club Brugge later that year, going on to twice be named the Pro League goalkeeper of the year, before sealing a high-profile switch to La Liga outfit Valencia in 2015.
The impressive stopper eventually came to wider prominence after joining Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer of 2017, making 123 appearances for the Seagulls, while also enjoying a brief stint on loan at Arsenal.
The current Copenhagen ace – who made the move to Denmark from Real Sociedad in the recent window – has most notably illustrated his quality on the global stage at the World Cup in Qatar, having proven vital in helping to steer the Socceroos into the knockout stages for the only the second time in their history.
Graham Arnold’s side recovered from a brutal 4-1 defeat to holders France in the opening group game to record a vital triumph over Tunisia in the following match, with the 30-year-old ‘keeper having arguably been the star man on the day after recording four saves, with his match rating of 7.9, as per Sofascore, the highest of any player on the pitch.
Following that “immense” showing, in the words of writer Paul Johnson, the 77-cap titan then made it a second successive clean sheet last time out against a much fancied Denmark side, pulling off three saves and three clearances in that crucial 1-0 win, while proving vital with his distribution after recording 17 long balls from his 46 touches.
Again a leading presence in that victory, having recorded a match rating of 7.6, the former Gunners man was also notably lauded by the Independent’s Karl Matchett, with the journalist writing: ‘Two big first-half saves were scrappy and unorthodox but ultimately effective. Very calm claiming high balls.’
The Australian captain has shown his class with those latest, high-pressure performances, with those back at Ibrox potentially feeling they may well have missed a trick by not doing more to tempt the impressive figure into coming on board all those years ago.