STEVE CLARKE lost one Ryan from his Scotland squad this week but will surely have been impressed with the form of another.

The Ryan that drops out, of course, is Ryan Jack after the Rangers midfielder was ruled out for the rest of the season – and the Euros – due to a persistent calf problem.

That’s a huge blow first of all for the player himself who would have been desperate to feature in this summer’s tournament after helping us qualify.

Ryan’s had injuries in the past and he seems to be a strong character. I know that this setback will make him tougher mentally when he comes back again at the start of next season.

It’s a major loss for his club, too. Rangers might have already won the league but they’ll be desperate to add the Scottish Cup to the trophy cabinet and Ryan is a big player for them.

And finally there’s also significant disappointment for Scotland as I feel Ryan would have been one of the first names on Steve’s team sheet had he been fit and available.

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His absence also creates a knock-on effect in the squad as I suspect the manager will now look to Scott McTominay to fill that void.

For me, the Man United man must now play in the midfield rather than in defence as he’s the player closest to Ryan in terms of style.

That’s a headache for Steve as he’s obviously tried Scott in a back three and likes him there but with no Ryan Jack I don’t think that’s going to be an option any more.

I wouldn’t say Ryan is just a defensive midfielder as there’s more to his game than that but he does the fundamentals really well.

His passing is good, he destructs and destroys the opposition and allows the team to go and play.

His positional awareness in terms of that balancing role in midfield is fantastic. He’s also terrific at making decisions that help limit mistakes and has great spatial awareness of where everyone is on the pitch.

Steve will already have a rough starting line-up in his mind for the Euros and the way Ryan has performed for club and country over the past season I reckon he would have been a stick-on to start.

That’s the hard part for all national team managers in the build-up to such a big tournament. You know your opponents far in advance and you have teams in your head that you think will give you the best chance of getting a result.

And every week you’re closely monitoring how your squad are getting on and keeping your fingers crossed in terms of their health, well-being and fitness.

When one of your preferred starters then gets injured long-term and doesn’t make it, it means you have to go back to the drawing board and start again.

McTominay won’t be a like-for-like replacement for Jack but he’s shown he can do well in that role.

He’s a Rolls Royce of a player, very elegant and athletic. And his variation and success rate of passing is probably better than Ryan’s.

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So you’re bringing in a top, top player. But it must now place a few seeds of doubt in the manager’s mind regarding the system he goes with and whether he sticks with a three at the back if Scott isn’t going to be available to play there.

The other Ryan who has been catching the eye of late is Ryan Gauld. He’s been doing terrifically well in a struggling Farense team in the Portuguese league.

He’s scoring goals, creating assists and winning plenty of Man of the Match awards and I know there are a lot of Scotland fans who would love to see him given a chance at the Euros.

But it’s maybe a case of out of sight, out of mind. I’m sure Steve will be keeping tabs on how he’s getting on - as he will with all potential squad members - but I just wonder if Ryan is someone who might find it tough to push into the manager’s plans at this late stage.

He has a lovely left foot, I have to say, although we’ve got so many left-footers in the squad already which is quite unusual for a national team.

He would bring something different to the group and he’s undoubtedly a talent. He’s good from dead balls, his penetrating passes are brilliant and he quite often plays in that No.10 role where he finds pockets of space. His movement is really good as well and he’s no slouch in terms of his speed.

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But I’m just not sure he’s someone the manager will be considering at the moment when you consider the midfield and forward players already at his disposal.

You think of Callum McGregor, John Fleck, Ryan Christie, Stuart Armstrong, John McGinn, Kenny McLean, McTominay, Ryan Fraser and James Forrest who are all Scotland regulars.

And then you have the likes of David Turnbull and Lewis Ferguson who have been doing well domestically and are probably not far away from a call-up.

So for Ryan there’s a lot of competition for him to force his way past. But, as we’ve seen this week with Ryan Jack, injuries do crop up when you expect them least.

So maybe the door isn’t fully closed on Ryan Gauld just yet.