In light of his call-up to the Scotland Under-21 squad, should Rangers have kept the highly-promising David Bates?

The former Gers star signed a pre-contract for Hamburg last year. This came despite reports of him being close to agreeing a new contract with the Ibrox side.

His performances often polarised supporters. Many couldn’t make up their minds whether Rangers needed better or if the youngster would be a star for the club.

David Bates had spells in and out of the team in recent years (Gregg Newton/AFP/Getty Images)

Bates, however, has apparently gone from strength to strength since leaving the Gers. He’s started the first three of Hamburg’s matches in the Bundesliga 2, keeping two clean sheets.

He’s since been rewarded with a call-up to the national side at under-21 level. Scott Gemmell was speaking today to the BBC about his progression, and had this to say:

He’s gone to Germany and has moved out of his comfort zone. You can already see his game intelligence has developed. There is no doubt, in terms of his development, there is no place to hide at Hamburg. How you grow off the pitch is vital too and taking on such a big responsibility will make David much more mature both on and off the pitch.

Big moment for Bates

The call-up has thrown him back into the spotlight in Scotland. The defender spent time at Raith Rovers before coming back and spending time in and out of the team under Graeme Murty and Pedro Caixinha.

Rangers perhaps won’t be dwelling on the loss. Since Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic have come in, Rangers have improved massively at the back. There’s no doubting that the pair are an upgrade on anything the club had last season.

But Bates is just 21-years-old. Learning from the likes of Goldson and Gareth McAuley would’ve been a real positive for his development.

Instead, Rangers have Joe Worrall sitting on the bench on-loan from Nottingham Forest. It remains to be seen what Worrall can bring to the table, but you would’ve imagined Bates could’ve filled his role.

Bates has been colossal so far at Hamburg (Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Gers have been used to failing to tie down key talent in recent years. Billy Gilmour made the ambitious jump to Chelsea before even making a senior appearance with the club. Barrie McKay also left for Nottingham Forest despite being a highly-rated young player.

Whether Bates can join that category of ones that got away will appear to be seen. So far, the youngster has made an impressive start to life in Germany. Continuing in that vein and he’ll have the world at his feet.

Until then, Rangers will be delighted with the defence they have. But to say nobody will be keeping a keen eye on Bates’ progress would be straight up wrong.

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