You won’t find many Scottish youth players developing at La Liga clubs but Athletic Bilbao’s Ewan Urain has had plenty to say about two major Rangers talents.
The Spanish-born striker is eligible to play for the Basque-only team through his birthright with Urain also eligible to play for Scotland due to a family connection.
Speaking ahead of the Scotland U21s upcoming European U21 Championship qualifier against Turkey, Urain was full of praise for Ibrox kids Stephen Kelly and Glenn Middleton.
These two players, Urain says, are his stand-outs in the squad and he has already learned a lot from both of them.
“I think there are some very special players and to play alongside them is something that is very special,” said Urain [BBC Scotland].
“I especially like Glenn [Middleton]. He is the one that would most like to learn Spanish, I don’t know why.
“There is also Stephen Kelly, I call him ‘El Mago’ which is the magician.
“They are both very special players and I learn so much training with them.”
Whilst Urain, 21, is yet to make his competitive debut for the Athletic’s top team the player has been heavily involved with the B team and according to the Scotsman, trained in the top team last season.
That report also claims that Urain has been involved in some friendlies for Bilbao’s top team with the Spanish side currently in negotiations over a new “long-term” deal.
When you consider the number of quality players who have come through the Athletic Bilbao youth set-up – and the talent Urain will currently be playing with – this is a strong endorsement of the young Ibrox duo.
Both players are undoubtedly highly thought of in Glasgow with both certainly on the precipice of the first team.
Glenn Middleton broke through during Steven Gerrard’s first season but a lack of game time means the player is back on loan at St Johnstone this season.
For Stephen Kelly, this will be his first main season in and around the first-team squad after two seasons out on loan at Ayr United and Ross County respectively.
Big things are expected of the young midfielder, with Rangers reportedly turning down the option to move for a leading Premiership talent to focus on developing the 21-year-old.