Back in April, Serge Atakayi said Steven Gerrard believed he could feature for the Rangers first team during 2019/20 [Daily Record].
It was with those words ringing in his ears, that the right-winger left for a short-term loan with Finnish top-flight club SJK Seinajoki.
That move was something of a return home for Atakayi, who despite being born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, grew up in and made his professional debut in Finland.
The now 20-year-old, who made his senior Gers bow against Motherwell in November 2018, turned out ten times in the league for SJK, scoring once.
He confirmed his return to Glasgow in June with a farewell message to those who had supported him during his Veikkausliiga stint.
What’s happened to Rangers prodigy Atakayi?
Strangely, though, there’s been very little sign of him in Light Blue.
He featured in a Development XI pre-season fixture against Cambridge United, in mid-July, providing an assist for the since-departed Andrew Dallas. He had also been named as substitute for a Gers XI that travelled to Belfast for a testimonial, a few days previous.
However, since those outings, as far as we can tell, he hasn’t been involved at any level.
Unlike last season, he certainly wasn’t involved in pre-season preparations with the first team, and instead, Steven Gerrard has recruited heavily in wide areas.
Perhaps, as was the case with Zak Rudden, the talented youngster has picked up an injury. If that is the case, though, surely the club should be providing fans with an update on the status of one of it’s best young players, in order to avoid any confusion?
There have been no suggestions of a further loan move and Atakayi is contracted until next summer [Transfermarkt], so, for now, we must assume he’s remaining at Rangers.
Regardless of his relative fitness, though, given the plethora of senior wingers now at Ibrox, it looks highly unlikely he’ll add to his solitary competitive appearance any time soon.