This is the first article in a series focusing on players who will help Rangers raise the number of homegrown players in the first team squad. All players in the series will either be capable of coming into the first team and immediately improving it or players with the potential to be a first teamer in the coming years.
The first player up is Max Johnston of Motherwell. Fabrizio Romano tweeted that he will be leaving the Fir Park outfit in the summer and AS Monaco, Augsburg and Udinese are all apparently interested in the young fullback. So, should Rangers try and get him? Let’s look at who he is firstly;
Name – Max Johnston
Age – 19
Nationality – Scottish
Position – Right-Back
Club – Motherwell
He spent the first half of the season on loan at Cove Rangers but since his return in January has been ever present in the Motherwell starting eleven. In eight starts he’s managed to pick up one goal and two assists, impressive numbers for a young fullback playing regularly at this level for the first time.
Recently he has also been the first choice RB for Scotland U21s, showing the national set up think he has high potential the same way Motherwell do.
A modern day full back who loves to bomb forward he isn’t quite the finished article technically. With his pass accuracy at only 54% within his own half and 44% in the opposition half there is definitely work to be done on his decision making and passing ability.
Defensively he’s a player who’s improving the more minutes he plays as it seems like he’s working on his positioning and being disciplined when it comes to getting forward. He’s currently winning 45% of his ground duels Per90 and 50% of his aerial duels Per90. Solid, if not spectacular numbers for a full back getting used to playing at the highest level in Scotland.
A player with seemingly endless energy, if he can polish up his technical skills and keep his trajectory of defensive improvements up he will be a key asset for any club in years to come.
The potential is there but with Adam Devine already lacking minutes at full back will Rangers even look at Johnston?
The type of clubs interested in him should prick up the ears of the Rangers recruitment team as they’d like to avoid another Lewis Ferguson/Josh Doig scenario. Two players who were in Rangers reach and are now thriving at their respective Serie A clubs.
Do Rangers have faith in Devine to be the future RB of the club? Or do they go for the latest exciting Scottish full back prospect and hope he fulfils the potential many think he has?
This is one the recruitment team are surely at least having a discussion about. With his contract expiring this summer Motherwell will only receive a development fee, so unless he renews his contract there’s a bargain to be had.
Do you think Rangers should target Max Johnston? Or is he one the club should let develop somewhere else?