Former Rangers manager Stuart McCall has expressed his surprise at a big money move for an Ibrox flop, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
Full-back, Kevin Mbabu, came to the club on loan from Newcastle in February 2015. However, despite technically being a Ger until the end of the season, he failed to make an appearance for the first team.
After eventually calling it a day with Newcastle, he signed for BSC Young Boys in his native Switzerland in 2017. Strong performances there won him recognition at international level.
Then, at the end of April, he signed for Bundesliga giants, Wolfsburg, for a reported £9 million [Scottish Sun].
“Kevin Mbabu wasn’t someone who particularly stood out for me,” admitted McCall, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “I remember him playing in the reserves a couple of times, and in a Youth Cup Final against Celtic.”
“He got taken off at half-time as he had been booked in the first half. He was a bit hot-headed. I didn’t see much in him at the time, but I am delighted for the boy and what he has achieved.”
Clearly, neither McCall nor the youth team staff with Rangers at the time saw this rise to prominence coming.
Mbabu is now a full Swiss international, with Champions League experience.
It would be harsh to point the finger at the Gers staff for not realising the potential the young defender had at the time. It just goes to show, though, that players learn and develop at different paces.
We may not have seen anything of Mbabu during his time at Ibrox, but since leaving British football, he’s developed into a real star.