Aston Villa’s appointment of Steven Gerrard in late 2021 was always bound to bring strong transfer links to Rangers players, and now, the Premier League side are looking to sign academy talent Rory Wilson.
According to Fabrizio Romano, a deal to bring the 16-year-old attacker to Villa Park is moving fast, with Wilson already agreeing to personal terms with Gerrard’s side as they look to sign the promising Scottish youth star for their growing academy squad.
Indeed, Wilson was a star for Rangers at youth level last season, and many clubs have been looking to sign the teenage attacker, though it appears that Villa will win the race for the youngster this summer in what could be a shrewd signing for the Villains.
The attacker could blossom in a Premier League environment, and Wilson won’t be the first Rangers academy player to thrive after leaving Ibrox, as here are five names who flourished after departing Glasgow after coming through the club’s academy.
One of three players to play for the Rangers first team after progressing through the academy, Ross McCormack only made 13 appearances for the Bears before moving to Motherwell in 2006 and then eventually to the Championship with Cardiff City in 2010.
And it is this division where the striker did his best work, with McCormack scoring 120 goals in the Championship in over 300 games, with the attacker’s most notable spell coming with Leeds United, where the former Scottish international bagged an impressive 58 goals for the Yorkshire side throughout four seasons.
Another academy graduate who featured for Rangers at senior level, Charlie Adam spent six seasons with his boyhood club before moving to Blackpool in 2008 and guiding the Tangerines to a historic promotion to the Premier League.
After an impressive debut season in the English top-flight, Adam won a £7.5m move to Liverpool where the midfielder only lasted two seasons before moving on to Stoke City, where he became a consistent player with the Potters before their relegation in 2018.
John Fleck’s career has been an interesting one, to say the least. The midfielder came through the Rangers academy and made a handful of starts for the Scottish giants before moving on for good to League One side Coventry City, where he eventually won a move to Sheffield United.
From there, Fleck was a key player in what was to be a fairytale run for the Blades as the midfielder first won promotion to the Championship and then two years later the Premier League, where the midfielder impressed in the English top-flight as Chris Wilder’s side took the division by storm in the 2019/20 campaign.
Despite being a player who played for Celtic at senior level, Lewis Morgan actually began his footballing career at Rangers, where the winger never made a first-team appearance for the club before moving on to St. Mirren.
Although Morgan never really impressed at Celtic, the winger has since exploded into life since moving to MLS, first with Inter Miami and now with the New York Red Bulls, where the Scottish winger has this season been one of the most productive attackers in the division.
Another talented player who never played for Rangers’ first team and was then sold to St. Mirren, Kenny McLean could be viewed as the one who got away for the Gers, with the versatile midfielder a regular for Norwich City in their last two Premier League campaigns.
At 30-years-old, the Rutherglen-born maestro is at the peak of his career, and with McLean suffering another relegation with Norwich last season, it could be time for Rangers to start plotting a homecoming for their former academy star.