Ayr United manager David Hopkin has expressed his delight after signing ‘strong and very quick’ Rangers starlet James Maxwell on loan [Ayrunitedfc.co.uk].

Maxwell impressed last season on loan at Queen of the South, racking up 32 appearances, scoring five goals and notching three assists.

Arbroath v Queen of the South - Scottish Championship
Rangers talent James Maxwell has joined Ayr United on loan and manager David Hopkin is over the moon. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Steven Gerrard gave him minutes during Rangers’ pre-season schedule but with Borna Barisic and Calvin Bassey ahead of him in the pecking order, he’s now been allowed to temporarily head elsewhere in order to continue his development.

The young left-back reportedly attracted interest from the Norwegian top flight [The Athletic], but he’s staying in Scotland and returning to the second tier.

Having started his youth career with Ayr, it’s a homecoming of sorts, but the Light Blues retain full control over his future after including a January recall option in the deal.

“We are delighted to be able to get James here,” said Hopkin [Ayrunited.co.uk]. “It is clear how highly rated he is at Rangers and he had a great season at Queen of the South.”

“He is improving all the time, is strong and very quick. James will give us something different in the squad which will give us a variety of options in terms of the way we play.”

Given how well he did in the Championship last season, a step up to a Premiership team may have been the ideal result for Maxwell in this window.

He’s still only 19, though, so he has time on his side, while he’s more likely to receive regular playing time at Ayr.

If he can get another 30 or so senior appearances under his belt during his time with the Honest Men, he’ll be in a better position to challenge for the left-back berth at Ibrox the following season.

However, the Scotland youth international will need to be called back to Rangers at some point to sign a contract extension if he’s going to stay at the club long-term, as his current deal expires in the summer.

Maxwell wasn’t the only player to head out of Ibrox on loan on Tuesday, with fans of another SPFL club delighted at the capture of a 21-year-old Ger.

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