Exciting teenage midfielder Ben Williamson is targeting a first-team breakthrough at Rangers after scooping the Young Player of the Year award at Arbroath, although he admits another loan spell is likely next season [Rangers.co.uk].
There was a lot less talk about Williamson – who is a lifelong Gers fan – ahead of the 2020/21 campaign than there was about other youngsters like Kai Kennedy, Josh McPake and fellow midfielder Stephen Kelly.
However, he impressed early on in B team fixtures before signing a contract extension and heading out on his first-ever loan stint.
He adjusted very quickly to the demands of senior football and consistently impressed on the right side of midfield for the Red Litchties in the Championship.
The 19-year-old started all 17 of the league fixtures he was available for and despite only joining halfway through the season, he scooped their YPOTY award.
Williamson has since been further rewarded with a maiden Scotland U21s call-up and a training stint with the Gers first-team.
He’s delighted with his progress, but wants to kick on over the coming seasons and make a permanent breakthrough into the senior setup.
“I was training with the first team after my loan at Arbroath ended and the standard they train at every day is incredible,” he told RYDC [Rangers.co.uk]. “It was a great moment to get the chance to train with the first team so the loan at Arbroath really paid off for me. I just need to keep working hard to earn more chances like that.”
“I will probably go out on loan again in the new season to get more experience. Arbroath weren’t a full-time team so it would be good to go somewhere and train every day. I want to pick up as much experience as I can to keep progressing.
“Hopefully the season after that I can try and push myself into the first-team plans at Rangers more but, and I keep saying it, you have to keep working as hard on your game as you can and that’s what I will do.”
When asked about Nathan Patterson’s recent success, he added: “It’s brilliant and shows how well the academy is doing to produce a player like Nathan who can play at the highest level. Hopefully, it can be me next but you must always keep working hard to earn your chance.”
Williamson’s stock rose considerably over the course of the 2020/21 season and Steven Gerrard clearly felt he deserved a stint with the senior squad at Auchenhowie.
The young bluenose is currently only contracted until the end of next season but an extension is likely to arrive sooner rather than later and if he can secure a loan to a Premiership club, he’ll have an excellent opportunity to show that he has the quality required to succeed at Ibrox.