Partick Thistle manager, Ian McCall, says he has high hopes for former Rangers forward Zak Rudden as he returns from an injury setback, as quoted by Not The Old Firm.
Rudden came up through the ranks at Ibrox but didn’t manage to make a competitive appearance for the first team.
He scored in a pre-season friendly against Bury in the summer of 2018 but was then promptly shipped out on loan to the Championship with Falkirk.
He fared well in the second tier, finishing as the club’s top goalscorer and winning multiple end of season awards.
However, there were to be no opportunities upon his return to Rangers and after an injury-hit 2019 pre-season, he headed to England to join EFL League Two club Plymouth Argyle for another loan stint.
After that deal ended in January, though, he decided it was time to cut his ties at Ibrox and head out on his own.
McCall’s Thistle snapped him up on a two-and-a-half-year deal, hoping he’d provide the goals which would propel them up the Championship table.
Unfortunately for the 20-year-old, though, he made just two appearances before being struck down by injury prior to a league match against Arbroath in late January and hasn’t been seen since.
✍️NEW SIGNING: We are thrilled to confirm the signing of striker, Zak Rudden, from Rangers for a nominal fee, subject to clearance.
— Partick Thistle FC (@PartickThistle) January 15, 2020
In what was described as a ‘big boost’ for the Jags, though, his absence is set to be ended tonight in a bottom of the table clash against Queen of the South at Firhill.
“He is absolutely raring to go,” said McCall, as quoted by Not The Old Firm. “Whether he would last a whole match, I don’t know, but I have high hopes for him.”
“It depends what happens when he goes on the pitch but I have a feeling he is a player our supporters will really take to.”
Thistle’s position at the bottom of the division had been looking increasingly entrenched in recent times, but they have a chance to go level with second-bottom QoS with a win tonight.
Rudden will be hoping for an injury-free run between now and the end of the campaign, as he looks to establish himself elsewhere having taken the brave decision to leave Rangers.
He’s not alone in that quest, either
It’s proved difficult for homegrown strikers to break through at Ibrox in recent times, with the likes of Ryan Hardie and Andy Dallas both also moving on over the last year.