Promising 20-year-old Ayrshire lad Ross McCrorie looks likely to develop into a Glasgow Rangers future captain.
He’s been at the Gers since he was nine and will inspire the next batch of youth players coming through the academy and into the first team.
Especially if he continues to maintain the high standards shown when he starts games for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
Ex-Gers manager Pedro Caixinha said after watching him handle his first-team debut that “McCrorie would become one of the best centre-halves in Rangers history”.
In comes new boss Gerrard in June, and thinks that McCrorie’s best position could be as a defensive midfielder in his new Ibroxside.
The rising star is displaying terrific consistently,and is one of the best Rangers players now. Gerrard should know that he is far too good to be dropped.
The hard-to-please Rangers supporters are realising that McCrorie must start for their side from now on.
Against Livingston on Sunday afternoon he was again outstanding, with another high-quality outing under his belt. He was also immense against Celtic.
Gerrard made a huge mistake by dropping or resting young McCrorie for the Kilmarnock 2-1 defeat, and shouldn’t make the same error again.
At only 20, the tall and extremely versatile player could eventually play a major starring role as Scotland’s best centre half, as he gains experience.
Personally I feel, the composure he shows for a player so young is truly remarkable, and his energy levels are supreme.
His reading of the game to win the ball back gives Rangers that extra edge; the Ibrox club misses that part of his game, when he is not playing.
McCrorie is also the captain and mainstay of the Scotland U21 team and has been since 2016, playing in 10 matches to date.
Against Livi, right from the start of the game, McCrorie’s intensity to press quickly for the ball gave the team a huge lift. It allowed Rangers to control the game.
Due to his obvious height advantage, it is such an asset when he is winning so many balls in the air and producing the skill to time his tackles effectively.
His capacity to break up the play from opponents is vital to the cause, and McCrorie simply cannot be an ignored starter anymore.
Here’s a stat for Gerrard to chew over. When McCrorie has started in any domestic game this season, Rangers have remained unbeaten.
The Gers have won seven and drawn two out of his nine starting league or local cup games, and conceded only three goals in those matches.
The 1-0 away loss to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League is the only time Rangers have lost this season when McCrorie has started in the side.
If the boss is still not convinced of his usefulness to the team, he should ask Richard Gough, John Brown or Walter Smith for their opinions.
He was rightfully sent off against St Mirren earlier in the season and seemed to fall down the pecking order for while after that.
Gerrard started to opt mainly for Ovie Ejaria and Lassana Coulibaly (two loan deals) as his preferred midfield choices – which proved to be wrong.
However, surely after McCrorie’s recent six or seven performances he will get an extended run of games in the starting XI if he stays 100% fit.
That’s the opinion of thousands of Rangers fans, who are delighted watching a homegrown starlet excel.
They really want Gerrard to put his faith in McCrorie’s all-round ability, and allow him to flourish at Rangers.
I am trying to understand why the Gers boss has so many anxieties about putting too much pressure on this affable, adaptable and athletic young talent.
He is slowly starting to persuade Gerrard to use his capabilities more, and his reading of the game and passing is continuing to improve tremendously.
Plus he can only get better; especially the more he gets used to starting with the same players around him.
McCrorie always looks to me as if he’s comfortable playing in all the big games, so I cannot see what the problem has been for Gerrard.
You can rely on him to get stuck in. The Rangers starlet seems to love a battle and very seldom comes off second best – another reason to play him regularly.
With McCrorie and Daniel Candeias playing so well on Sunday and with that kind of will to win, if both had been selected, would Rangers have won at Kilmarnock last Wednesday?