A Glasgow Times report has explained why highly-rated Rangers talent Dapo Mebude missed Saturday’s clash with Lokomotiv Tashkent in Dubai.
Steven Gerrard used the fixture to give his entire senior squad game time, while he also blooded youngsters Nathan Patterson, James Maxwell and Kai Kennedy.
There were other Academy players on the trip but it was assumed that any who didn’t play had simply missed the cut. After all, the aim was clearly to give as many of the senior players 45 minutes as possible.
However, the Glasgow Times report has revealed that while centre-back Lewis Mayo and goalkeeper, Kieran Wright, were deemed not quite ready to take part, the manager had planned to involve Dapo Mebude.
Yet, unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he fell ill with a throat infection on the eve of the game and had to stay behind at the team hotel.
It’s a blow for Mebude, who has had something of a stop-start 2019/20 season so far.
On the final day of the 2018/19 Premiership campaign, the forward made his competitive debut for the first-team, playing the final half an hour of a 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock.
The teenager was no doubt keen to kick on from that, but after featuring in the first three rounds of the Colts’ Challenge Cup charge – scoring at Berwick Rangers in the first – he picked up an injury and missed a significant number of Development fixtures.
Given his time on the sidelines, he did well to earn a spot on the trip to Dubai, and he’s clearly very highly-rated by Steven Gerrard.
Yet, the throat infection robbed him of his chance to impress.
His next target will likely be the Challenge Cup semi-final clash against Inverness Caley Thistle on 16th February.