In our Loan Watch feature series, the Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a selection of players from a particular club are faring whilst they are away from their parent side, and provide a brief update regarding their form.
Rangers have continued their fine start to the season over the last week or so as Steven Gerrard’s side look to retain a fighting chance of picking up some silverware for the first time in his managerial tenure at Ibrox.
Firstly, the Light Blues managed to get past Livingston in the Scottish Cup quarter-final with a 1-0 victory and will go onto meet Heart of Midlothian for a place in the competition’s final, while they also succeeded in taking advantage of Celtic’s slip-up in the Scottish Premiership to close the gap to one point by dispatching Aberdeen emphatically in front of a home crowd (BBC).
Indeed, it has also been a good week for some of their youngsters that have been spending some time away from Ibrox as they look to get on with their development by playing regular football.
Here are how just a few of them got on over the last week or so…
Robbie McCrorie appears to be going from strength-to-strength while out on loan at Queen of the South and has been putting in some rather exceptional appearances for the Scottish Championship outfit.
According to Rangers’ official website, the 21-year-old put in another top display and was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award once again as he helped his side to a 1-1 draw with Dundee.
In what was his seventh second-tier appearance for Queens, in which he has kept two clean sheets and conceded six times (via Transfermarkt). It was the second game on the bounce that the Scotland under-21 international earned the accolade, therefore securing his place in the national setup once again (Scottish FA).
Like his brother, Ross McCrorie also earned himself a place in Scot Gemmill’s Scotland under-21 side for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Lithuania and Czech Republic later this month.
Unlike his sibling, though, the defender made a switch across the border and has been plying his trade with Portsmouth, although he has found game-time a little more difficult to come by despite making a total of seven appearances (Transfermarkt).
Despite featuring for Pompey against fierce rivals Southampton in the League Cup as a second-half substitute, Kenny Jackett decided against using him for their recent League One meeting with Bolton Wanderers, a game the south coast outfit managed to win 1-0 (as per Rangers’ official website).
Academy Bear Stephen Kelly has been out on loan with Scottish Championship side Ayr United this season and appears to be thriving with the exposure to regular first-team football at that level.
The 19-year-old central midfielder has become a key member of Ian McCall’s side as he appears to be a mainstay for the Somerset Park outfit, which has also seen him being included in Gemmill’s Scotland under-21 squad for their upcoming matches.
Indeed, Kelly looks to be enjoying himself in front of goal as he has four to his name in 11 appearances across all competitions, while also chipping in with two assists for good measure (Transfermarkt), which has helped them to the top of the Championship table alongside Dundee United (BBC).
With all three men having been selected for the upcoming internationals, perhaps there is a confidence that the trio are performing rather well at their respective outfits and that should surely be pleasing for Rangers moving forward.
With Allan McGregor getting older and Wes Foderingham thought to be considering his options regarding an Ibrox exit, Robbie McCrorie could be ready to step in between the sticks in the near future, while his brother Ross could stake a claim for first-team football as well if he continues to improve.
Despite still being in the early stages of his career, Kelly appears to be a bright prospect for the Light Blues and it would not be a surprise if his goalscoring exploits are catching the eye of Gerrard and his backroom staff as one to watch in the future.
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