Former Rangers starlet Matty Yates, who was released in 2020, is eyeing a return to Ibrox in the future, claiming he knows he’s good enough to succeed at the club [The Athletic].
Yates spent several seasons in the Academy setup at Auchenhowie and showed promise.
However, the club have invested considerable sums to bring in young attacking talent from elsewhere in recent times and the teenager was pushed down the pecking order before eventually being offloaded to Hibs.
The pandemic kicked in shortly after his arrival at Easter Road and he was soon released by the Edinburgh club too, spending several months as a free agent.
Stranraer eventually took a chance on him, though, and he’s now beginning to impress at Stair Park.
He notched five goals and an assist in 18 appearances last season and netted the winner in a League Cup group stage triumph over East Kilbride earlier this month.
He feels he should have been kept on at Rangers and that he has the ability to get back there one day.
“If you don’t back yourself what’s the point? If you don’t think you’re good enough you may find something else,” he said [The Athletic]. “I know I’m good enough. Rangers didn’t think I was but I think I should have stayed. I’ve just got to keep battering away at Stranraer and hope it takes me somewhere.”
“Kevin Nisbet (of Hibernian) went down the divisions and now look at him. He and Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) are the main ones I’d look up to but I’m just looking to get back into full-time football. My main aim is to get down to England. If I could get a full-time club here and then win a move, that’s the aim.
“I can score a decent number of goals for any team. I’ve been like that since I was a wee guy, it’s just in me. If I keep doing well then hopefully later down the line I can go back to Rangers one day.”
Yates showed impressive self-belief in this interview and he’s right to look at the likes of Nisbet and Shankland – two players who were written off early in their careers – as role models.
A return to Ibrox is always going to be difficult for any released player but at 19, Yates still very much has time on his side and although he’s currently playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football, the fact that he’s already worked out how to score goals at senior level is a good sign.
Meanwhile, former Rangers assistant manager Jonatan Johansson has snapped up another attacking player who was moved on by the Gers in 2020.