RANGERS midfielder Ryan Jack has enjoyed a fine start to the 2019/20 campaign, impressing in his team's Europa League qualifiers and in the two league games we've had so far.

Jack's recent perormances have caught the eye of the Ibrox faithful and the 27-year-old's imposing displays of late have surely not escaped the attention of Scotland manager Steve Clarke, who will name his squad for the upcoming double-header with Russia and Belgium this week.

Jack has generally played well for Rangers since joining the club from Aberdeen and can perhaps feel a little hard done by that he's only picked up two caps for the national team so far. But Jack's brilliant start to the season means that he is becoming harder and harder to ignore.

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The graphic above details Jack's passing stats since 2016 and we can see that this campaign the central midfielder has improved across the board. He's now hitting an extra 20 passes per game than he has done previously, and is hitting them more accurately. And when we break down into the minutiae of the kinds of passes that Jack is playing, we again see drastic improvement.

The number of passes per game that Jack plays into the final third this season has nearly doubled compared to previous seasons, and their accuracy has improved dramatically. Similarly, Jack's overall forward passing accuracy has improved by over 10% when compared to the 2016/17 campaign. When it comes to Jack's distribution, there is no question that he has developed into one of the Premiership's best passers of the ball.

Given the wealth of midfield options that Scotland currently have at their disposal, though, Jack could still find it difficult to earn a call-up, never mind break into Clarke's starting XI. As it stands, Jack has Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, John McGinn, Scott McTominay, Kenny McLean, Graeme Shinnie, Tom Cairney and Stuart Armstrong to compete with for a spot.

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It's these players that Jack must be measured against, and it is interesting to note that the Rangers midfielder more than holds his own in many of the key metrics for a modern central midfielder. No-one averages as many passes as Jack does, and only Fulham's Cairney has a higher accuracy rate. Similarly, only Cairney (4.32) and McGregor (7.04) commit fewer ball losses than the former Aberdeen player.

Jack's 7.33 defensive duels per 90 minutes places him slap-bang in the middle of Scotland's midfielders, although his success rate of 57% is relatively low - only Celtic duo Christie and McGregor win fewer of their tackles than Jack. The 27-year-old makes up for this, however, with the number of interceptions he completes per game on average: only Derby's Shinnie (4.53) comes close to matching Jack's (4.78) output in this regard.

Jack has the third-least ball losses per game out of the above midfielders, and has the highest number of progressive runs - dribbles where the bal is carried at least 10 metres up the pitch - out of the eight players we've examined.

The data points to one inescapable conclusion: Jack should be included in the upcoming Scotland squad. Throwing him in at the deep end by starting him against Belgium and Russia may be a step too far, given Jack's realtively low tackling success rate and the fact that winning the ball back will be crucial in both fixtures, but the Rangers midfielder is certainly deserving of a call-up at the very least. Having a player such as Jack who is so composed in possession could prove vital for the national side and the former Aberdeen player can no longer be ignored for Scotland.