The Rangers youth side might’ve just turned in another great performance against Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Youth League, but how long until we see the club’s young talent in the first team at the club?
The Ibrox development side were once again superb as they dumped Bratislava 2-0 in the first leg of their Youth League tie to hold the advantage ahead of the trip to Slovakia.
With the likes of Dapo Mebude, Kai Kennedy and Lewis Mayo all standing out for the reserves, can we see them establish solid careers at Ibrox?
For too long Rangers have slept on talent which has come through the Youth Academy or not given enough chances to our younger players.
Even before the club’s financial issues in 2012, Rangers did not produce enough young talent which would either go on to become fixtures in the side or earn the club substantial fees.
Alan Hutton and Barry Ferguson aside, has there been any players who really fall into this category this millennium?
Charlie Adam – who’d go on to play for Liverpool – was let go to Blackpool for a measly £500k back in 2009.
Lewis Macleod, the midfielder who moved to Brentford for £1m before his Ibrox career had really begun, is the only player from the modern Rangers era who stands out.
The four young players who have made a breakthrough at Ibrox recently – Ross McCrorie, Glenn Middleton, Stephen Kelly and Josh McPake – are now all out on loan.
Contrast this with the likes of rivals Celtic, who’ve just secured Academy graduate and central figure Calum McGregor on a long-term deal, are looking at the same for James Forrest and even sold Kieran Tierney for £25m to Arsenal in the summer.
Whilst it takes time and good management to get young players up this level, having products of our Academy, who are Rangers fans and dedicated to the club’s cause, form the foundations of legendary sides.
There’s real potential in the Rangers Academy right now and real hope that for the first time in a generation, Rangers can have their own golden generation come through at Ibrox.
It’s felt a long time coming.