Rangers’ youth star Dapo Mebude could be set to be handed a sensational opportunity in the Rangers squad tonight.
Kyle Lafferty’s injury opens up a chance for a third striker to come on board tonight. Mebude was the surprise youth talent who got to travel with the squad for the massive contest against Spartak Moscow.
Lafferty picked up a muscle injury that means he didn’t travel with the squad. He was joined by Ryan Kent and Borna Barisic in missing the Moscow clash.
That means a spot has opened up with Mebude in the prime position to seize it. Steven Gerrard, you have to imagine, will turn to him as the only viable striking option available.
Umar Sadiq is of course still available, but news around him recently hasn’t been positive. Rumours were flying around that Mark Allen wants him gone soon ahead of January. Using him at this stage you have to imagine would only come if totally necessary.
Tonight, it isn’t. Mebude wasn’t expected to get anywhere near the squad despite travelling. Thanks to Lafferty’s injury, however, it’s a chance for him to get even more experience with the first-team.
Unlikely to get game-time
It would still be a huge surprise to see him get any minutes on the pitch. A cameo appearance if the game is going Gers’ way would be the most logical scenario in which he’s chosen. Alfredo Morelos will lead the line, and will be the man tasked with firing Rangers to success in Russia.
Mebude, however, has a great chance of being called up to first-reserve given how the stars are aligning for him.
The young striker has been making waves with the reserves. His blistering displays reached their peak when he smashed in a hat-trick against Motherwell’s reserves back in September. The man he replaced in that match? Sadiq.
Gerrard appears ready and willing to give the youth players at Ibrox a chance to get involved with match-day squads. With so many high-profile matches, it’s highly unlikely many will receive much game-time soon, however. Rangers look more than keen to get them involved in match-day squads.
Mebude is just the first of what will likely be several youth stars to get their opportunity this season. Will he make an appearance tonight? Who knows. One thing’s for sure, however, and that’s that he’s highly likely to make the squad.