In August 2019, Glasgow Rangers announced the signing of 23-year-old winger Brandon Barker for an undisclosed fee, with the new man signing a three-year contract.

He’d been with Manchester City’s youth teams since he was only eight, and always showed terrific promise as a fast and tricky footballer.

In season 2013-14, Barker won the very prestigious Elite Development Player of the Year award, which is not an easy honour to achieve.

Especially, at a club the size and stature of Man City, with their money and the amount of great young footballers from all over the world.

Young Barker represented England in the U18, U19 and U20 level, but didn’t get picked for any U21 matches.

The ex-Manchester City forward came through their successful youth academy, and enjoyed his time playing for four different loan sides.

On 6 November 2015, Barker spent a month at Rotherham United until 15 December. He scored a goal and appeared in four of their matches.

In August 2016, Brandon was loaned out to NAC Breda, who play in the Dutch league and he appeared in 23 games of their 2016-17 season.

Hibernian signed Barker on 17 August 2017, on a season-long loan deal. He played in 30 ties despite being out for six weeks with a torn hamstring.

Current Celtic manager Neil Lennon was at Hibs at the time, and is credited with making an inquiry about taking his talent to the Hoops.

Last season, he signed for Championship side Preston North End, on a similar temporary deal and helped punters get the correct score tips as he featured in 20 games for the Lilywhites.

Steven Gerrard wants two top players for every position. The Manchester lad became the eighth Rangers signing of the summer transfer window last year.

Ex-Ibrox director of football Mark Allen knew all about Barker’s credentials from his days of working with the Man City youth set-up.

He has all the hallmarks to be a success at Rangers, but is Barker slightly overawed playing at Ibrox, in front of a hard-to-please-support?

In fairness to the winger, neither Ryan Kent, Jordan Jones and Sheyi Ojo are doing consistently better when they are given their chance in the side.

On the advice of Gerrard, Jamie Murphy moved to Burton Albion on loan in January, and has proved to be an influential player for the Brewers.

While this removed one potential opponent for a starting berth at Rangers, Barker has struggled to get game-time in 2019-20.

Seemingly the wideman is regularly phenomenal in training sessions, but can’t replicate that form when starting in first team matches. 

When football returns, Barker will hope to get more opportunities to show what he is capable of on the big stage.

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