It’s no secret that, apart from Leon King, no Rangers youngster has managed regular game time this season. Adam Devine had a couple of starts when Barisic was recovering from World Cup duty and Alex Lowry started one SPFL game then has had a few substitute appearances. What these youngsters need right now is regular first team minutes, if Rangers can’t provide that then they should be loaned out to a decent level. Scottish Championship loans haven’t worked out and these three are already above that level so an SPFL loan has to be the minimum for them.
The 19-year-old played the most Champions League minutes of any player 21 or under this season. That is incredible experience for the young centre back, not many at his age get to play against Europe’s best on the biggest club stage possible. After Michael Beale’s arrival and players regaining their fitness, however, he fell out of the team and went from November to April without making an SPFL appearances.
He started two of the three final games of the season and was excellent against Hibs at Easter Road then solid against Hearts at Ibrox. His positional sense and ability on the ball stood out in both performances, his long passing was also a joy to behold at times.
He still showed some weaknesses in his game, like being burned by Josh Ginnelly’s pace a couple of times in the first half against Hearts. He figured out how to defend him in the second half though and had no issues before he was substituted.
He has all the attributes required to be a quality, modern day centre back, he just needs game time. If Rangers can’t promise him that this season, a loan could be an excellent option, either in the SPFL or the English Championship. The ability is there with King, he just needs to game some more experience at a decent level, he definitely has the potential to be a starter for Rangers in the future.
He had three SPFL starts while covering for Borna Barisic and Ridvan Yilmaz, he was solid but unspectacular in all these appearances. He clearly doesn’t have the quality going forward of either of the other left backs he was filling in for, but he was also playing out of position. If playing on his natural side there’s a chance he may have looked more comfortable going forward.
He’s confident enough on the ball and taking it forward, just the quality of final ball seemed to lack in those appearances. He’s positive on the ball and with his passing, always trying to get the ball forward instead of going back with it. More game time towards the end of the season on his natural side may have shown off his ability more accurately than his previous appearances but he wasn’t afforded those minutes.
Now 20, it’s time he gets some proper first team experience and if it isn’t at Ibrox he needs to be loaned out, another SPFL club or English League One are probably the best options for Devine right now.
The most naturally talented of the three, he is the type of player Scotland don’t produce very often, he possess brilliant ability on the ball with a natural flair to his game. He’s endured a tough season due to a combination of injuries and heart breaking personal circumstances. He’s a player with all the ability on the ball, he just needs to fine tune his end product, in knowing when to release the ball and his finishing ability.
He’s a player who always excites when he’s on the pitch, he plays with supreme confidence and always fancies himself to beat his opponent. As mentioned previously, the type of player that Scotland, and Rangers, don’t produce very often.
Capable of playing off of the left and through the middle, he offers the same play style and positional ability as Todd Cantwell does and has throughout his career. When playing for the B team this season he has shown that he is clearly above that level.
Between the Lowland League and Challenge Cup he has 11 goal contributions in 11 games, incredible numbers for an attacking midfielder. He averaged a goal contribution every 65 minutes at this level. Watching him play with the B team, he absolutely strolls through almost every game and it’s clear he needs a bigger challenge to prove how good can he be against tougher opponents.
He’s turning 20 in June and if Michael Beale can’t offer him first team minutes at Ibrox next season then it’s definitely time for a loan. A loan to another club in the SPFL would be ideal for Lowry at this stage of his career, somewhere he can be starting week in, week out.
He’s shown he has ability, he just needs to prove he can be consistent with it and show if he can transfer his B team numbers to a higher level.
All three players have the potential to be at least squad players at Ibrox, do you agree that loan moves would be best for them next season?