Last term, Zak Rudden enjoyed an impressive first campaign in senior football.
On loan at Falkirk, he scored 12 goals in the Scottish Championship and took home all the major awards at their end of season dinner [Falkirk.co.uk].
His performances brought considerable praise from Steven Gerrard. The Gers boss said he had ‘a lot of admiration for’ the teenager for pushing himself away from Auchenhowie and that he sees ‘a future’ for him at Ibrox [RangersTV].
Rangers prospect Zak Rudden drops off the radar
However, while he reported back for testing in June (see gallery) he’s been mysteriously absent ever since.
👍 Welcome back.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) June 17, 2019
The forward didn’t travel with the first-team squad to Portugal for a training camp, nor did he feature in any pre-season fixtures for the senior team.
It’s not as though he’s dropped down to the Reserves, either. The recent development fixture against Chelsea is the sort of game you would expect the Scotland U19 international to be involved in. Yet, he was nowhere to be seen on the teamsheet.
— Rangers Youth Academy (@RFC_Youth) August 2, 2019
Other young strikers like Andrew Dallas and Ryan Hardie have been moved on. Meanwhile, Rudden was briefly linked with a loan move to Partick Thistle back in May [Scottish Sun]. Yet, no switch materialised and he is still listed by Transfermarkt as a Gers player.
A significant injury seems the most likely explanation at this point. Yet, it’s strange that there appears to have been no official acknowledgement of an issue by the club.
It means, for the time being, his status remains unknown.
While the likes of Dapo Mebude and Josh McPake are also coming through, you would think a fully fit Rudden would currently be Rangers’ third-choice striker, making this situation even stranger.
We’ll keep an eye on this one, and hopefully, clarity will be provided by the club in the near future.