Rangers Academy chief Craig Mulholland has insisted that Glenn Middleton’s breakthrough season was “done by design” after starring in the club’s Games Programme for the under-20s.

Middleton burst onto the scene with a string of impressive performances for Steven Gerrard’s side and Mulholland admits that despite all the Academy success this year getting players into the first-team is the “biggest plus” for them.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Glenn Middleton of Rangers takes a look around the stadium prior to the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Kilmarnock and Rangers at Rugby Park on February 9, 2019 in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“The biggest plus for us this year is getting boys to the first team,” Mulholland told Rangers TV.

“So there is Glenn Middleton who made his debut and went on to make over 30 appearances, and we’ll all think back to his Europa League experience where he was involved in the goal in Villarreal and then he scored in Moscow.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 13: Glenn Middleton of Rangers challenges Mert Muelduer of Rapid during the UEFA Europa League match between Rapid Wien and Rangers at Weststadion on December 13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

(Photo by Johann Schwarz/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

“That was done by design as he was part of our European Games Programme last year.”

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Middleton particularly impressed in the club’s Europa League campaign and will be hoping to make even more appearances for the first-team next season.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 13: Mert Muelduer of Rapid and Glenn Middleton of Rangers during the UEFA Europa League match between Rapid Wien and Rangers at Weststadion on December 13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

(Photo by Johann Schwarz/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

The young winger could get the chance to shine against Kilmarnock this weekend in the final game of the season at Rugby Park.

Putting in an impressive performance would be a good way to show Gerrard that he deserves a regular place in the side as they look to end Celtic’s domination of the domestic game.

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