Ross McCrorie has praised Lee Wallace for his influence on his career so far.
McCrorie shot through the ranks at Ibrox and made his breakthrough under Pedro Caixinha in 2017. The Scottish under-21 international started primarily as a centre-back, but has since become a solid holding midfielder.
This has meant game time has been limited for McCrorie. With the likes of Ryan Jack, Ovie Ejaria, and Lassana Coulibaly impressing, the youngster’s away down the pecking order.
Yet, his fine abilities as a footballer haven’t gone unnoticed by Scott Gemmill. McCrorie will be given the captain’s armband for their Euro 2019 qualifier against Holland on Tuesday.
It’s a huge honour for McCrorie, who took the time to praise one key individual for their help in his development.
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When I first went into the first-team to train, he was the skipper. He took me under his wing and was always speaking to me. Especially when I had my two loans at Dumbarton and Ayr. Lee would take me to one side and ask how I was getting on. He always kept me involved and I could see his leadership qualities straight away. I tried to take little bits from that. As soon as Lee spoke to me, the nerves were gone.
This won’t surprise too many, as Wallace was always a model professional during his time as club captain. Steven Gerrard named James Tavernier the full-time skipper when he came in the door as manager.
Despite the praise, however, time could be running out for Wallace. His appeal against the club has been won, but it’s done nothing to temper the heated relationship he has with senior officials at Ibrox.
In the past, Gerrard has stated that Wallace can be a big player for the club. But with the likes of Borna Barisic and Jon Flanagan ahead of him in the pecking order, it’ll be difficult to battle his way in.
As for McCrorie, you also have to wonder where his game-time is going to come from also. Sporadic appearances throughout the season won’t do much for his development, and therefore it’s key he perhaps gets a loan move elsewhere.
Rangers have grown much stronger under their new manager than anyone expected. This means the likes of McCrorie and Wallace won’t be permanent fixtures due to that improvement.
Regardless, it’s nice to see that Wallace was an upstanding captain during his time wearing the armband.