Landmark Rangers - Orange County transfer deal not yet paying off
Photo by Pedro Vilela - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Landmark Rangers - Orange County transfer deal not yet paying off

The landmark transfer agreement between Rangers and Orange County that brought Aaron Cervantes to Ibrox isn’t yet bearing fruit.

Following a successful trial period, the Gers announced the signing of USA youth international goalkeeper Cervantes on a permanent deal in October 2020 and he finally moved to Glasgow in April last year.

He quickly endeared himself to supporters by describing the act of signing his deal as the ‘best feeling in the world’.

The 19-year-old is the first player Rangers have signed from an official partner club and so there’s special interest in his progress.

Things don’t appear to be going to plan so far, though.

Ex-Orange County starlet struggling at Rangers

Cervantes made his debut for the Rangers U18s in a win over Dundee United at the Rangers Training Centre soon after his arrival.

Photo by Pedro Vilela – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

However, he’s barely had an opportunity since.

He didn’t feature in the Challenge Cup, while Jay Hogarth and Lewis Budinauckas have been the go-to keepers for David McCallum in the Lowland League.

He’s been spotted working on the pitch with coaches after B-team fixtures at Dumbarton, but that’s about as close as he’s been getting to competitive action.

Given that between the B team and senior keepers Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin, there’s also Robby McCrorie, Andy Firth and Kieran Wright (although Wright has recently headed out on loan to Dumbarton) it’s apparent that Cervantes is currently way down the pecking order.

While it’s unclear exactly how long Cervantes’ contract is, he should have at least until the summer to try to impress sufficiently to earn more playing time.

At this point, though, a first team appearance looks a million miles away.

Meanwhile, McCallum has named four exciting Academy stars who have been training with the senior squad.