Striker Jermain Defoe adores turned down Rangers to sign for PL club this summer
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Striker turned down Rangers before signing for Watford this summer

Former Rangers striker Dapo Mebude has revealed he turned down the option of a new deal at Ibrox before going on to eventually sign for Premier League Watford.

Mebude, 20, came through the youth ranks at Ibrox and was at one point one of the most highly-rated young talents in the club’s Academy.

Dapo even made his debut for Rangers at the end of Steven Gerrard’s first season, coming off the bench during the 2-1 defeat to Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock.

Veteran Ibrox striker Jermain Defoe was also close to the young forward and claimed he’d be watching him score goals long into old age.


As Mebude explains, leaving Ibrox was a remarkably tough decision but one he had to make as the player himself had a different vision for the next few years of his career.

“It was always going to be hard leaving Rangers. I was there for nine years,” said Mebude [Daily Record].

“I spoke to them just after lockdown and the plan they pictured for me in the next three years was different to what I saw myself doing.

“There were times when I wondered if I was making the right decision.

“But it came to a point where we both realised that our views on my development for the next three seasons were different.

“It was the right time to leave but a tough decision. I always pictured myself playing every week at Ibrox.

“But what I heard from the club was different to what I wanted to do.

“Making my debut for Rangers will live with me forever. It was the best day of my career so far. My family was at Kilmarnock, even my next door neighbour was there!”

Mebude would eventually go on to sign for Watford in the summer and the player will now be tasked with making the grade in the English top flight.

Currently out on loan at AFC Wimbledon in League One, the striker has two goals in the English third tier this season.

But when asked about why things never quite happened at Rangers the striker explains that luck went against him at Ibrox.

“It’s hard to make it anywhere as a footballer but even more so at a huge club like Rangers,” said Mebude.

Watford loanee and ex-Rangers striker Dapo Mebude celebrates scoring for Wimbledon. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

“And especially due to the circumstances of having to win the league and stop 10-in-a-row.

“The boys respected that. We knew that was the priority. But it definitely made it harder to break through.

“I probably feel I deserved more of a chance. I believe I could have made an impact in the first team.

“But unfortunate stuff happened to me at key moments. After my debut, I went to the pre-season camp in Portugal with the first team ahead of a European qualifier against St Joseph’s of Gibraltar.

“It was 6-0 in the first leg and I was going to be involved in the return game but got injured a few days before.

“I also went to Dubai in January and our next game was in the cup at Ibrox against Stranraer.

Dapo Mebude made his Rangers debut in May 2019 and turned down a new deal at Ibrox to eventually sign for Watford. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“But I caught glandular fever and couldn’t play in that either.

“So those moments went against me. If I could have taken my chance in those games, who knows what might have happened?

“But I still feel there should have been more opportunities for me. I feel stronger for it, though. I’m in a good place now.”

Meanwhile, a leading transfer journalist has claimed that Rangers have their eyes set on an out-of-contract midfielder ahead of next season.

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