The old adage says that good things come to those who wait. In the case of Jack Butland, that could prove just right. 

Rangers, arguably, needed to address their goalkeeping situation last summer, but Allan McGregor was awarded a swansong season before departing the club at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.  

McGregor is a bonafide club legend widely regarded as one of the greatest No.1s in Rangers' history. 

The 41-year-old remained an excellent shot-stopper up until the end and while other aspects of his game naturally waned with age, McGregor has left big gloves to fill this summer. 

Step forward Jack Butland.

At 6’ 5, Butland possesses the stature to replace McGregor and Rangers have acquired the experienced keeper as he enters the perceived peak of his powers aged 30. 

Michael Beale’s interest in the player was no secret and securing his signature on a four-year contract indicates he will play an integral role in the rebuild as an exciting new era dawns at Ibrox. 

The overwhelming reaction to Butland’s arrival has proven to be positive, as was his first interview which exuded authority and confidence. Meanwhile, his decision to reject a contract at Manchester United was commendable and highlighted a desire to play regularly and become No.1 once again.

18 appearances across the last three seasons - including zero during the most recent campaign - would suggest that Butland’s career has stagnated. However, life as a goalkeeper is unique given it's a specialised role with specialised demands. 

Across the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, Butland made 81 appearances and remained a regular in the England squad, having attended four major international tournaments in his career. 

His pedigree is unquestionable and Rangers will hope he can rejuvenate his career in Glasgow to show why he was regarded as England’s future No.1 when he emerged at Birmingham City. 

His first taste of professional football arrived in 2011 when he was sent on loan to Cheltenham Town. In the same season, former Rangers youngster Darryl Duffy finished top goalscorer. 

“It was a major coup for us at the time as he was a highly-rated young goalkeeper," Duffy tells the Rangers Review.

"He was viewed as the future England No.1 and Birmingham were reluctant to let him go but we managed to bring him in.

“He was a young boy obviously but he came in with a massive reputation. The biggest compliment that I could give him is that he was much more mature than his age. He was quite a quiet lad in the changing room but he was confident on the pitch. He commanded his area and he was a very good all-rounder.

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“He’s good at everything. McGregor is an unbelievable shot-stopper but he has weaknesses elsewhere. He might be a nine out of ten for shot-stopping but a five out of ten for claiming crosses, whereas Jack is a seven or eight all around. 

“He’s obviously not unfathomable because he’s a goalkeeper and he will make mistakes but he will bounce back quickly. He has the mentality you need at Rangers and can do it all. He’s been brought up the modern way and he is comfortable when using his feet. 

“Although he’s not played a lot of first-team football over the last two seasons, Rangers fans should be really excited by this signing. 

“He’s also a great lad who will be an asset in the changing room. He’s not going to bring any negativity whatsoever and that mentality and attitude is as important to his ability.”

Before moving to Cheltenham in the summer that Butland joined on loan, Duffy played for Bristol Rovers alongside another goalkeeper with Old Firm connections - Fraser Forster. 

Tottenham Hotspur keeper Forster enjoyed two successful spells at Celtic and Duffy believes there are similarities between the two. He expects Butland to thrive under the pressure of expectation in Glasgow. 

“I don’t think moving to Rangers will be a problem for him. He oozed confidence and he projected that upon his defence," he continues.

"I remember thinking at the time that he would go far in the game. He will relish the demand to win every week and to win trophies. He’s at a great age for a goalkeeper and entering his absolute prime. 

“He’s physically fit, strong and he won’t have lost any attributes that he had when he was progressing through the ranks - if anything he will be even better. It might take him some time to settle in because he’s not played but with a bit of patience, Rangers will have a top goalkeeper on their hands.”

Butland’s form upon returning to Birmingham that summer earned interest from some of the top sides in the country with Chelsea making an approach. 

His decision to rebuff their interest was founded in a desire for first-team football, also an important factor in joining Rangers, leading to praise from manager Lee Clark about his "unbelievable maturity". 

A move to Stoke City materialised in 2013 and he’d embark on four different loan spells during a rollercoaster seven-year ride at the Staffordshire side. 

Butland established himself as a top-flight goalkeeper with his brilliant form during the 2015-16 season when he was voted Stoke City’s Player of the Year. 

Top clubs were circling again but an ankle injury on international duty curtailed Butland's big move and kept him out for the majority of the following season. 

During his last three years at Stoke, Butland was first-choice and played regularly, except for a dip in form in 2019. 

Former teammate Charlie Adam believes his ‘presence’ will benefit Rangers.

“I like him as a goalkeeper, he’s a top goalkeeper, " he said.

“I played with him at Stoke and I think if you look at when Celtic signed Joe Hart, he brought stability, he brought presence and personality and I think that’s what Jack will bring. 

“He’ll be a big presence. He had a couple of difficult years in terms of injuries. When we were at Stoke he was on the cusp of making a big move but he got an ankle injury and I was gutted for him. He’s a great lad and exactly the type of player and person that Rangers need to bring in.”

When talking to people who’ve worked alongside Butland, it’s noticeable how often they highlight his leadership skills and professionalism. 

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Remi Matthews trained alongside the new Rangers signing on a regular basis and he ranks Butland as one of the "biggest leaders" he’s encountered in his career. 

“Knowing Jack the last couple of years, he’s obviously a top professional,” Matthews tells the Rangers Review.  

“He’s a leader, a top guy on and off the pitch which is why so many people respect him. The biggest thing I noticed about him was how much of a positive teammate he was. He’d still be a leader and get the guys going even if he wasn’t playing and he’s also a top goalkeeper. 

“It is a great fit for both him and Rangers. I’ve seen him up close for the last couple of years and he’s probably one of the biggest leaders that I’ve seen through the years. 

“He’s following in McGregor’s footsteps and that’s probably one reason why they’ve gone for Jack because they’ll know how he is.

“He’s got a great physique and you don’t realise how big he is until you come across him. Jack’s also excellent at playing with his feet and that’s important when you’re playing for Rangers. He’s a good shot-stopper, commanding when coming from crosses and he trains really well."

Question marks have been raised over Butland’s lack of minutes during the last few seasons but Matthews doesn’t envisage that to be an issue.

Goalkeepers face rigorous training on a daily basis and Matthews - who didn’t play regularly before his loan move to St Johnstone last summer - has no doubts over Butland’s ability to adapt. 

"Sometimes you find that some goalkeepers drop their levels in training if they’ve not been playing for a few years. Because of the way he trains and looks after himself off the pitch - Jack will be fine," he adds.

“I can’t think of one day when he’s not trained at the level that he’s capable of. Jack is extremely professional and he sets his standards really high, which I learned from being at Palace with him. 

“That’s why he’s enjoyed the career he’s had, played for England and in the English Premier League. The standards that he sets are some of the highest that I’ve seen in my career. 

“It will take a couple of games for Jack to get up to speed with things but hopefully pre-season will allow that. Getting a few games under his belt will be massive and as goalkeepers, we know that it’s always tough when we don’t play. 

“He’s also just come from one of the biggest clubs in the world in Manchester United so his confidence will be high anyway and he’s now moving to one of the biggest teams in Scotland.”

Robbie McCrorie impressed across the last few weeks of the season and Butland faces strong competition from the academy graduate. 

But the Englishman moved north to play and Matthews believes the move to Rangers will see the best version of Butland.

"I’ve not spoken to him much in the last couple of weeks, but we were obviously in contact during the season when I was up in Scotland. I'll give him a text and congratulate him," he says.

“Jack has played in the top league so he will adapt to Scottish football well. It would be different if he came from League One or League Two football then there’s a big step up. 

“He will adapt well and he’s going from clubs like Stoke and Crystal Palace where you’ll always be busy to Rangers when you won’t be as busy as other clubs. 

“He will know that Rangers won’t be struggling so he will be fine - it’s a great signing for everyone. Hopefully, that will benefit him and he can get back to his best level.”