Rangers defender Jordan Houston looks set to leave the club permanently, having already been loaned out this season.
The 20-year-old has been on loan at Ayr since the end of August and, as reported by the Glasgow Times, he is now on the brink of completing a permanent move to the Honest Men. The Glasgow Times added that Rangers will retain an option to bring him back to the club in the future after a nominal fee was agreed with the Somerset Park club.
Houston, who turned 20 last Monday, is a product of the Rangers academy but had only made a solitary first-team appearance, getting four minutes off the bench in last season’s Scottish Cup win away to Cowdenbeath (as per TransferMarkt). He spent time on loan at Airdrieonians in 2018/19 before again being loaned out at the start of this season.
He has managed to secure regular game-time at Ayr, where he has made 17 appearances already this term and provided two assists. However, having been unable to make the grade at Rangers, he has now seen another right-back prospect making waves at Ibrox.
Nathan Patterson, who has scored and set up goals in the Light Blues’ UEFA Youth League campaign in 2019/20, played for the first team in a friendly against Lokomotiv Tashkent during their recent training camp in Dubai and was given a senior debut in last week’s Scottish Cup win over Stranraer. His performance that night drew glowing praise from manager Steven Gerrard, who again included him in the matchday squad for Wednesday night’s win against St Mirren in the Premiership.
Aside from young Patterson, Rangers also have James Tavernier and Jon Flanagan as right-back options for the first team. The former has been one of the first names on Gerrard’s team-sheets this season, playing the second-most minutes of anyone in the squad and starting 35 games in all competitions as well as providing 12 assists. In his injury-enforced absence, Flanagan was selected to start at right-back against St Mirren, with the 27-year-old making his ninth appearance of the season for the ‘Gers.
With Houston never managing to make a real breakthrough during his time at Rangers and playing regularly at Ayr, it makes sense for him to move to Shropshire Park permanently. It’s an exit that the ‘Gers can afford given Tavernier’s near-constant presence in the team, Flanagan’s ability to deputise and Patterson’s emergence from the youth ranks.
Also, Rangers have made a sensible move in retaining an option to bring the 20-year-old back to Ibrox at a later stage if he manages to impress greatly for Ayr as they would likely thwart any other prospective suitors from signing him in the future, so this is a transfer which looks set to be well received by all parties involved. It is also a strong show of faith in Patterson, who has played just one game in senior football, that the ‘Gers are willing to sell fellow right-back Houston permanently.
Rangers fans, are the club right to include a buy-back option for Houston in his proposed transfer to Ayr? Is it a good decision to sell him outright given Patterson’s recent emergence? Comment below with your views!
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