Steven Gerrard has promoted 18-year-old Rangers winger Glenn Middleton after the youngster impressed during the team’s pre-season camp in Spain and in recent matches.
The decision is one which has delighted supporters who have been raving about the youngster over the last few weeks. Middleton joined Rangers in January from Norwich City and the highly-rated youngster has made incredible progress since coming to his boyhood heroes.
Gerrard made mention of his value both as an impact player coming off the bench, and as starter following his two assists against Wigan in a pre-season friendly. Gerrard added that the youngster had earned his chance and that the hard work starts now for him. We look at what he has to offer.
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Not scared to take on a man
Anyone who has seen Middleton in recent weeks will be well aware he has a knack for getting you up out your seat. The youngster is very confident in taking on his man. He works hard, is very quick and having to get the better of players many years his senior doesn’t seem to faze him. Shades of a young Davie Cooper, but let’s not get carried away!
Young, but stocky and strong
It’s almost a footballing cliche, but one of the biggest issues young players can have is being unable to deal with the physicality of the man’s game. Both physically and mentally, Middleton is very developed, so whilst he’s confident in his ability, he can jostle and get stuck in with the best of them. He’s short, strong and stocky, with great upper body strength and strong shoulders, meaning he can’t be shoved off the ball easily. Mentally, he bounced back from giving a way penalty against Wigan by rushing up the other end and creating a great opportunity. What’s more, he looks like he genuinely enjoys this side of the game.
Direct with a strong delivery
Another issue many young attack minded footballers have is dallying in possession or a lack of movement off the ball. A lack of directness has been one of the major criticisms of Josh Windass’ football, but there’s no such indecision so far with Middleton. He likes to get forward and get a cross or pass in quickly. He’s a positive player who makes things happen, but he has a consistently strong cross and consistently makes the right decision in the final thirand the kind of play fans love to see, especially when they’re one of our own.