Rangers loanee Lewis Mayo has changed positions for the second time this season in a bid for regular playing time at Dunfermline Athletic.
The 20-year-old Academy starlet is highly thought of at Ibrox and has turned out for the first team in each of the last two pre-seasons.
Mayo impressed against strong opposition in the Veolia Trophy in July and was lauded by James Tavernier, who described him as “absolutely terrific” in a 2-0 win over Lyon [RangersTV].
The Scotland youth international was rewarded for his promising showings in France with a contract extension until 2023 before he headed out on a season-long loan to Dunfermline.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) August 31, 2020
Mayo’s only previous loan stint at Partick Thistle was cut short by last season’s football shutdown, and the switch to East End Park looked a good one on paper, with the Pars hoping to challenge at the top end of the second tier.
Stevie Crawford’s side are currently third in the table but the loan has worked out a little differently than either Mayo or Rangers may have predicted.
The Gers prospect hasn’t managed to get into the side at centre-back, with Paul Watson and Euan Murray taking up the two spots, so initially, he had to move to right-back in order to get a game.
Even then, though, starts weren’t guaranteed, and he recently switched things up once more by moving into midfield.
Playing in the middle of the park isn’t alien to Mayo, given that he’s turned out there occasionally for Academy sides, and he looks to have settled nicely into the role, given that he’s started each of Dunfermline’s last three league matches there.
It remains to be seen what Rangers think of the switch, though.
Right now, it’s easy to draw comparisons between Mayo and Ross McCrorie, who also started off at centre-back.
McCrorie was then moved into a deep-lying midfield role before falling out of favour and heading on loan to Portsmouth, for whom he predominantly played at right-back.
McCrorie’s versatility almost appeared to count against him in the end and he’s now an Aberdeen player, so Mayo will no doubt be keen to establish himself in his best position at senior level sooner rather than later.