Glasgow Rangers have announced the signing of 22-year-old winger or midfielder Brandon Barker from Manchester City on a three-year contract.
This move to Glasgow has called time on the City academy graduate’s 14-year association with the club – he was only eight when he joined.
It is far too difficult for really talented youth players to make it at the best clubs in England with the enormous amounts of money they pay for world-class individuals in every position.
Barker was on Neil Lennon’s Celtic wanted list last month, according to the Daily Mail, but with Mark Allan at Rangers, his signing to Ibrox was completed.
It’s another cross-border deal and he still had a year of his contract to go, therefore instead of costing Rangers around £250,000 for his services, he joined on a free transfer.
Rangers supremo Allan knows him very well from his City days and clearly rates the lad highly. He came through the youth ranks at the Etihad Stadium, and has completed four different loans.
Manuel Pellegrini included him in several matchday squads and handed him his first-team debut as a substitute in the FA Cup fifth round defeat to Chelsea in February 2016.
The youngster firstly spent a couple of months at Rotherham as an 18-year-old, before joining Dutch side NAC Breda the next season for 23 matches.
Lennon took Barker on a season-long loan deal with Hibs, where he played in 30 ties and soon became one of the Easter Road’s top players. He ended up losing a part of the season with a torn hamstring.
The Rangers winger spent last season on loan with Preston North End, and played in only 12 games.
The stability of a permanent three-year deal will hopefully see him do extremely well with the Glasgow giants over the next few years.
He has also been capped at various England youth levels, and won the Manchester City Elite Development Squad Player of the Year in season 2013 – 14.
Barker becomes Gerrard’s eighth new signing of this transfer window for Rangers, who have made a tremendous start to season 2019-20, especially in the Europa League games.
Jordan Jones, Liverpool loanee Sheyi Ojo, Scott Arfield, Jake Hastie and Jamie Murphy can all play on the left wing, so Barker’s arrival will add even more competition to an overcrowded position.