Mark Allen and Steven Gerrard of Glasgow Rangers are mixing their new first-team targets with signing youngsters who could be stars of the future.
With tight budgets at Ibrox, the Gers manager must be able to afford the money involved for the right players, who will definitely improve his current side.
Gerrard knows that at the same time, he must also cover the longevity of the club, by creating a silverware-winning side, whilst adding the best youths Rangers can find.
A good example of this, is that Rangers are prepared to sign the highly-rated 16-year-old Kilmarnock striker Liam Smith, according to The Scotsman.
Where do you find the right standard to win titles without paying extortionate fees? In Europe, where you can get some bargains? Alfredo Morelos is the perfect example.
The best but slowest way, is to bring in great youngsters. This has been proven by a rejuvenated Ajax side that thrilled everybody in the Champions League.
It should be an extremely busy and hopefully a productive few months for Gerrard and Rangers in the summer transfer window.
The Evening Times claims Rangers are weighing up a move for 15-year-old Spurs kid Albert Rachi, who is an Albanian U17’s internationalist.
Rachi is a player with ‘a smooth and fast play-style’ and ‘attacks the net with extreme speed and pace.’ This move would bolster the Academy teams, at this stage of his career.
Rangers recruiting good young players bodes well for the long-term future and is a credit to Craig Mulholland and his coaches at the Hummel Training Centre.
Fans love players coming through the Rangers ranks, especially if they continue to see the development teams learn, progress and improve their skills.
They play the same way as the first team now and it’s starting to pay off. But the real benefit is when some of the boys join the Rangers first team squad at training.
The Evening Times also claim Rangers are signing Sporting Lisbon kid Umaro Balde, the 16-year-old Portuguese youth midfielder, on a two-year-deal.
Balde won’t cost Rangers any fee after impressing the academy coaches during his recent trial period in Glasgow’s Hummel Training Centre.
Other potential stars already in the Rangers Academy
16-year-old Nathan Young-Coombes, arrived this year from Chelsea and grabbed the winner in the televised Hampden Cup Final against Celtic.
Two years ago, 19-year-old Ross McCrorie played in 25 games and scored two goals, and last season the 21-year-old played 30 first team ties.
Glenn Middleton at 18 made his competitive debut at Ibrox in a 2–0 win against Shkupi in the Europa League on 12 July 2018, and scored five times in 27 games.
On 26 Sept ’18, Stephen Kelly the 19-year-old midfielder made his debut against Ayr in the League Cup, replacing Ross McCrorie in 69 minutes.
20-year-old Jamie Barjonas made his debut for Rangers against Partick Thistle on 7 May 2017, as a sub in 71st-minute substitute in a 2-1 win.
Last season Barjonas played seven games for Bury on loan and then played 11 games scoring twice for Raith Rovers between January to May 2019.
On 30 Jan ’19 Jordan Houston, 19-year-old right back and utility player made his Rangers debut in the Scottish Cup win over Cowdenbeath.
17-year-old winger Dapo Mebude appeared for the first team against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday 12 May 2019 for his debut.
19-year-old winger Serge Atakayi made his Ibrox debut earlier this season but headed to Finland on loan, to gain first team experience with SJK.
Recently turned 20-year-old Jake Hastie and 24-year-old Jordan Jones, plus 23-year-old Glen Kamara have already been added to Gerrard’s squad.
17-year-old Josh McPake won the ‘Academy Player of the Year ‘award. Moved from the U18’s to the reserves and now the top team is his target.
McPake’s best position is the No.10 role behind the striker, and likes to be involved in all attacking moves, and is a direct, tricky great paced player.
19-year-old striker Zak Rudden was loaned out last season to Falkirk and scored 12 goals in 31 games, and six goals for Scotland U19’s in 13 ties.
19-year-old Cameron Palmer is a Canadian midfielder who has played for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is signed until May 2020.
19-year-old Jack Thomson adds bite and ingenuity to the midfield. He’s creative, direct and a very confident young player.
19-year-old striker Andy Dallas was loaned to Stenhousemuir in March 2018 and played six times then moved to Morton in January, playing 13 games.
Gerrard and Allen are on the right track in looking after all departments at Rangers, but it is on the pitch where it will all ultimately matter most.