According to a recent report from The Sunday Mirror (via The Daily Record), former Rangers defender David Bates is attracting interest from sides in the Premier League. The 22-year-old left Ibrox at the expiration of his contract during the summer after just two years at the Scottish giants, eventually leaving to join Bundesliga 2 outfit Hamburg on a four-year deal.
And reports suggest that the likes of Arsenal and Everton are interested in the defender, interest which further underlines the already obviously huge mistake Rangers made in failing to agree a new deal with the talented centre back at the rear end of last season.
Ultimately, the 22-year-old made the move to Ibrox back in the summer of 2016 initially on loan from Raith Rovers, albeit he only earned eight senior appearances for the Gers that season.
Nonetheless, despite failing to regularly appear under Pedro Caixinha, Graeme Murty’s appointment as boss improved Bates’ fortunes given he became a regular under the Scot in the heart of the Light Blues backline, eventually earning 20 appearances for Rangers in the 2017/18 season, 15 of which coming in the Scottish Premiership in their run to third place.
And during his time in the first team, which included nine successive league starts between December and March, the centre back underlined his qualities with several impressive displays for the Light Blues – they won four straight games with Bates in the side, but then managed just two victories in his five games on the sidelines with an ankle problem.
And that left the Gers in something of quandary given Bates’ contract was up at the end of the season, an agreement they were unable to sought despite reports suggesting that the defender only wanted a £7,500-a-week deal to remain at the Scottish heavyweights.
Thus, not only were the Light Blues stronger defensively with the 22-year-old in the side, but it wouldn’t have broken the bank to retain the Scotland Under-21’s services – instead, new manager Steven Gerrard was forced to bring in three centre backs during the summer to help compensate for his exit.
And the Gers have been further shown the error of their ways given Bates has made an encouraging start to life at Hamburg, helping the German outfit keep six clean sheets in his eight league appearances for the club, in which time they have won four to sit fourth in the Bundesliga 2 table.
As such, Bates appears to have taken it up another level upon leaving Rangers, but who is to say that he wouldn’t have produced that level of performance were he to have remained at Ibrox – it’s a level of performance which has got Premier League sides reportedly interested.
And the Scottish youngster only 22 and very much with a bright future ahead of him, it’s clear that those English top-flight teams will have to pay a decent sum of money if they are to lure him away from Hamburg – compare that to the meagre £7,500-a-week demands Rangers were unwilling to bow to.
Thus, reported interest in Bates’ services further highlights the already obvious mistake the Gers made last season in failing to tie him down to a new deal at Ibrox.
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