The Scottish Sun reports that Steven Gerrard has shown considerable faith in five young players, by taking them to Portugal for the club’s pre-season training camp.
Lewis Mayo, Josh McPake, Dapo Mebude, Stephen Kelly and Jamie Barjonas all made the plane.
🇵🇹 Next stop, Portugal.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) June 22, 2019
It’s a big vote of confidence from the manager. Especially after it emerged several experienced first-team players didn’t make the cut.
19-year-old is benefitting from Rangers’ current lack of centre-backs. After the departures of Joe Worrall and Gareth McAuley, resources are stretched thin. The club did manage to secure the services of George Edmundson. However, Nikola Katic is currently away with Croatia U21s. Therefore, Mayo gets a big opportunity to prove his worth over the next week.
The 17-year-old is regarded as one of the club’s finest young assets. That’s why they are trying to tie him down to a new contract amid reported interest from the Premier League [Daily Record]. He scored goals for fun last season at age-group and Reserves level.
Mebude is an exciting attacking player who made his first-team debut away at Kilmarnock on the final day of the season. He will be looking to use the trip to force his way into Stevie G’s plans for upcoming friendlies.
Like Mebude, this 19-year-old made his senior debut last term. He turned out as a substitute during a 4-0 League Cup win over Ayr United. Since then, he’s been grafting away for the Reserves, but this call up represents a chance to mix it with Steven Davis and co.
At 20, Barjonas is the oldest and most experienced of this group. He spent time on loan at both Bury and Raith Rovers last season and is now back to stake a claim. The most recent of his nine first-team appearances came against Motherwell in December 2017. Following his recent loan stints, it’s time to kick on.