Kyle Bradley is one of a handful of Rangers players currently on loan in the SPFL system.
The 20-year-old is coming to the end of a stint at Annan Athletic in League Two. His time there had been due to end in January, but a deal through to the end of the season was agreed during the transfer window.
— Annan Athletic FC (@AnnanAthleticFC) January 8, 2019
He’s slowly established himself as an integral part of the starting lineup at Galabank, reaching 25 appearances for his adopted side on Saturday.
He played the full 90 minutes in defence in a dramatic late comeback against Stirling Albion.
2-0 down with just two minutes of normal time remaining, the hosts salvaged a 2-2 draw.
They are now sure of a play-off place as they attempt to climb into the third tier.
What’s the next step for Bradley?
It’s great to see the versatile youngster getting regular minutes this season. Especially, after an unsuccessful first loan stint at Clyde.
Despite mainly playing at the back, he’s managed to open his senior goalscoring account, too.
An impressive strike against Clyde and an effort away at Berwick Rangers have earned his adopted side four crucial league points.
However, it’s highly unlikely he will get an opportunity under Steven Gerrard next season. While the Gers may lose both Gareth McAuley and Joe Worrall in the summer, they will enter the market to bring in reinforcements at the back.
Furthermore, while exposure to senior football was the most important thing this season, the standard he’s playing at doesn’t lend itself to an easy transition to the SPL.
The likes of Zak Rudden, who is a year younger, has been starring in the Championship with Falkirk.
Perhaps, that is the most likely next step for Bradley. He’s still young but he doesn’t have forever to make it at Ibrox. Therefore, come next season, he should be tested at a higher level.
It’s likely that only if he can impress higher up the league pyramid, will he be considered for first-team opportunities.