Rangers winger Glenn Middleton’s loan spell at St Johnstone saw the Scotland under-21 star write his name into the history books as part of the first Saints side to lift both national cups in the same season (and the first side from outside the Old Firm to do it in 30 years) and the Ibrox youngster hopes he’s proven to Steven Gerrard he can be trusted to star for the Light Blues [Daily Record].
Middleton scored a stunning free-kick at Hampden in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup to seal St Johnstone’s place in the final, before missing a penalty against Hibs in the final as Callum Davidson’s side sealed a famous victory.
⚽️ Captain Glenn Middleton scored from the penalty spot today for #SCO21s
— Rangers Youth Academy (@RFC_Youth) June 2, 2021
Botched loan spells at Hibs and Bradford City saw Middleton fall out of the picture completely at Ibrox over the last 18 months and the talented winger admits his time in Perth was a “dream” after the “frustrating experience” of his previous two loans.
Although his club campaign is at an end, Middleton still has one more game before he can have a break this summer – Scotland’s under-21 clash with Northern Ireland – and he will be hoping to add to the penalty he scored earlier this week as he captained the Rangers-heavy under-21s.
“Going into next season, hopefully, Rangers know if they need me to play they can trust me to do the job.
“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a dream loan, especially after how the season before had gone. That had been such a frustrating experience for me.
“I was at Hibs and Bradford and they didn’t go as I would have liked.
“When I went to St Johnstone I was desperate to make things happen and do as well as I could. I would like to think I did that.”
‘I have always been grateful to Rangers’
Despite being out on loan, Middleton remained in close contact with the club and confessed that knowing he was still being watched rather than simply being sent out and left to his own devices was a big motivation for him to impress in Perth.
The winger will return to Auchenhowie for pre-season with the rest of Steven Gerrard’s squad and insists he will do everything to can to prove he still has a future at Ibrox and force his way back into the first-team picture for the new season.
Middleton still has a couple of years left on his contract but is at a crucial stage in his development where he really needs to be playing every week – and the Rangers youngster is confident he can do that at Ibrox as the Gers prepare for a return to the Champions League.
The English-born Middleton doesn’t lack the confidence to make his mark at Ibrox in the coming months and is now focused on getting back into the side and adding to the five goals and five assists he recorded during Steven Gerrard’s first season at the club,
“I have to take things as they come and keep performing when I get the chance to play to show what I can do,” he added.
“If I can do that then hopefully my future will take care of itself. Rangers have told me to report for pre-season as normal so I am focusing on that and then we will take it from there. Everyone’s aim is to play and I am no different. I just have to go back into the club in the best shape I can be.
“I have always been grateful to Rangers for everything they have done for me. Even when I was out on loan they were always in contact and helping me out. They were telling me ‘well done’ when I had performed well and it was nice to have that.
“It gave me that little bit of extra motivation having that contact and knowing they were looking at what I was doing. If I can keep making progress then we will see what happens. At the age I am, I want to play every week. Every player does. I want to make an impact on the park. I know where I want to go in my career and what I want to do.
“So as long as I keep doing well, hopefully, I can get there.
“The past season was incredible for everyone at Rangers and we have the Champions League qualifiers to look forward to.
“I will do everything I can to make a good impression when I go back in for pre-season and then we will take it from there.”