Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass believes Lewis Ferguson would have been in contention to star at Euro 2020 if Aberdeen had been better this season.
Glass insists Scotland Under-21 international Ferguson has been “fantastic” throughout a campaign that has been disappointing for the Dons.
The 21-year-old finished the season as Aberdeen’s top scorer on 10 goals and was also short-listed for the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Young Player of the Year award.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke will name his 26-man squad on Wednesday for the nation’s first finals since the World Cup in 1998.
Glass reckons, if the Dons had delivered the same levels as Ferguson during the campaign, the midfielder could be set for the summer finals.
However, with Uefa recently expanding the Euro 2020 squad numbers from 23 to 26 players and Clarke being hit by midfield injury set-backs, Glass has not given up hope of a shock late call-up for the Euros for the Dons midfielder.
Glass said: “Lewis has been fantastic all year.
“Unfortunately for him, had we been better, he would have been pushing for that Euros squad.
“It might still be the case with the extra three bodies.
“Lewis showed against Rangers what he is capable of with the fight he showed and he is a big player for us.”
Aberdeen recently rejected a £2 million bid from Premier League bound Watford for Ferguson, who has three years left on his Pittodrie contract.
It is understood the Hornets could yet return with an improved offer for the midfielder.
Pittodrie legend Willie Miller warned it would take an offer in excess of £4m for the Dons to even consider the possibility of their star player leaving
Glass sees Scotland U21 Ferguson as a key component in his squad for next season as he embarks on a summer rebuild.
Ferguson produced a superb box-to-box performance in the recent 1-1 draw with Celtic at Pittodrie, netting once, hitting the post and also clearing off his own line.
Scotland boss Clarke will have been watching that match.
The Dons manager could have two of his centre-backs named in Clarke’s squad for the Euros, where Scotland will face Czech Republic, England and Croatia.
Veteran Andy Considine, 34, has earned three caps under Clarke and was an unused substitute in the historic penalty shoot-out defeat of Serbia in the Euro 2020 play-off final in November to secure qualification to the finals.
Considine impressed in all three performances and is an experienced head who is also versatile and can play left-back or left centre-half in a three or four.
New signing Declan Gallagher looks certain to be named in the squad.
The 30-year-old was immense at the back in the defeat of Serbia.
Having agreed a pre-contract, Gallagher will join the Dons on a two-year deal in the summer.
On securing Gallagher, Glass highlighted his international pedigree, saying: “Declan is one of the country’s top centre-backs and played a prominent role in Scotland’s qualification for the Euro’s this summer.”
Glass hopes there could yet be a window of opportunity for Ferguson, who having won the SFWA Young Player of the Year award last season was in contention to become only the second player to retain the prestigious accolade.
Ultimately Hibs teenager Josh Doig was given the award for the 2020-21 campaign.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) May 17, 2021
Following Wednesday’s squad announcement, the Scots will jet out for a warm weather training camp in La Finca, Spain on May 27.
They then play Holland in a friendly in the Algarve, Portugal on Wednesday June 2, before facing Luxembourg away on Sunday June 6.
Scotland boss Clarke will be without two former Aberdeen midfielders in Ryan Jack (Rangers) and Kenny McLean (Norwich City) with both ruled out of the Euros by injury.
McLean suffered a knee injury in Championship winners Norwich’s final game of the season.
The former Don struck two vital penalties in the play-offs to help Scotland secure qualification for Euro 2020, including the winner in the penalty-shoot out against Israel in the Nations League play-off semi-final.
However, McLean is out for 12 weeks with a ligament injury.
Former Aberdeen captain Jack also had his Euro 2020 dreams shattered following confirmation his season was over and he had to undergo surgery on a persistent calf issue.
Despite the absence of Jack and McLean, central midfield remains arguably Scotland’s strongest area.
Midfield slots will almost certainly be taken by Scott McTominay (Manchester United), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Ryan Christie (Celtic) and Stuart Armstrong (Southampton).
However, McTominay could potentially be used in defence as he was utilised in the back-line during the play-offs.
Those vying for midfield call-ups to the expanded squad are Sheffield United’s John Fleck, Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour, Celtic’s David Turnbull and Ryan Gauld, who netted his ninth goal for Portuguese top-flight side Farense at the weekend.
The fact Glass believes Ferguson should be alongside those players in contention for the Euros underlines his faith in the midfielder.
While Ferguson highlighted Ferguson’s form throughout the entire campaign, he praised emerging young full-backs Jack MacKenzie, 21, and Calvin Ramsay, 17, for their performances since he took over the club management.
Glass said: “Some of the young ones have proven their worth.
“Jack MacKenzie and Calvin Ramsay have both come in and done well.
“Ferguson and Dean Campbell are also both still young.”