Lewis Ferguson is Scotland miss as Swiss pal Aebisher wishes Bologna buddy could check in for Euro 2024 battle

Michel Aebischer knows the strongest part of Scotland’s team is the midfield. But the Swiss star says it would be even better if his Bologna team-mate Lewis Ferguson was part of it.

Aebischer is a close pal of the Scot who lit up Serie A this season as Thiago Motta’s side created history by qualifying for the Champions League for the first time. Ferguson, 24, was voted the best midfielder in Italy before picking up a heartbreaking knee injury towards the end of the campaign. That ruled him out of Euro 2024 when he was a certainty for Steve Clarke’s squad.

It also denied him the opportunity to go head-to-head with Aebischer, with Switzerland up next for Scotland in a Group A clash tomorrow night. The Swiss got their Euros campaign off to a flying start with a 3-1 victory over Hungary on Saturday and Aebischer got on the scoresheet.

Getting goals from midfield is just one of the things he believes Ferguson could have added to Scotland’s engine room – if he had stayed fit for Germany. While the former Aberdeen ace has excelled in Italy – and been tipped for a big-money move to Juventus – Aebischer reckons he hasn’t reached his full potential yet.

And ahead of the crunch clash, Aebischer said: “Lewis is a big friend of mine, we shared a hotel room together for a while in Bologna. He’s a really good player and he almost had the perfect season for us.

“It’s so unfortunate that he got injured. He’s already a big player now but he can become even better. He has a lot of quality with and without the ball.

“Lewis is always there when the ball arrives and that’s why he scores a lot of goals. He can also assist so he’s the complete player. And he can become even bigger than he already is.

“In every game you play I think it’s important to get control of the midfield because that’s the heart of the game. We know that Scotland have a really good midfield so it will be important for us to keep the ball – so that they don’t have it. We want control of the game. And when we lose it we’ll try to get it back as quickly as possible.”

The importance of Wednesday night’s game can’t be underestimated with defeat unthinkable forcScotland after an opening- night disaster against the Germans in Munich.

Clarke’s team must take at least a point to have any hope of creating history by making it beyond the group stage at a major tournament. For the Swiss they know that if they avoid defeat it will almost certainly secure their passage to the last 16 before facing the hosts on Sunday night.

Murat Yakin’s men were impressive against the Hungarians, particularly in a dominant first half, as their skipper Granit Xhaka along with Aebischer ran the game.

Now the Bologna man is optimistic about their chances of progression and says with the quality they have in their squad, they should be looking to go far at Euro 2024 – once they have taken care of Scotland.

Aebischer added: “The potential for this Switzerland team is huge, we have a lot of top international players. If we grow even more as a team there is real potential here. We can go far in this tournament but first of all we have a tough game on Wednesday so won’t look too far ahead. We’re concentrating on Scotland.”