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Glasgow Rangers: Gio Van Bronckhorst must offer pathway to Jack Wylie

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has shown that he is prepared to throw young Glasgow Rangers players in at the deep end if he feels they are ready to feature for the first team at Ibrox.

He has not been shy to start Leon King in the Champions League this season and handed out Premiership opportunities to the likes of Alex Lowry and Adam Devine last term.

Another player who could burst into the Rangers senior squad in the future is 15-year-old full-back Jack Wylie, who has been making a name for himself in the academy this year.

Journalist Pete O’Rourke has compared him to King and suggested that the manager must reassure the youngster that he will be given chances in order to keep him away from interested clubs.

Speaking to Football FanCast, he said: “He’s pretty similar to Leon King. Offering him a pathway to first in football is probably the way to try and keep the best young players that they’ve got in their group.

“They lost the young boy Rory Wilson to Aston Villa in the summer, which was a big blow after he scored lots of goals in the youth side as well.

“So I think Rangers will be desperate not to lose any more players down south. They want to keep hold of their best players if they can.”

Wylie’s performances for the Light Blues and Scotland at youth level have caught the eye of teams in the Premier League and the youngster is not able to sign a professional contract until his 16th birthday in January.

Speaking in his Caught Offside briefing video recently, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed that the young gem is attracting interest south of the border. “I’m not too surprised to see big names like Arsenal and Leeds being linked with 15-year-old wonderkid Jack Wylie as he’s a top talent, but what’s the truth about his situation?

“There are four or five Premier League clubs that are following him, but it’s still too early to mention negotiations or advanced talks with Rangers. At the moment, I’m told is too early and Jack is focused on Rangers.”

The interest in his services is why it is crucial that van Bronckhorst sits down with Wylie and maps out a pathway for him to progress into the first team.

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He needs to prove to the talented prospect that he will follow in the footsteps of King, Charlie McCann, Devine, and Lowry if he continues to catch the eye at youth level, to stop him from being tempted to make the move to the English top-flight.

Wylie, who was once described as a “sensation” by O’Rourke, is a Scotland U16 international and the Premier League clubs eyeing him up have seemingly been impressed by the full-back’s displays for club and country, which indicates that he has the potential to make the step up to the senior team in the future.

Therefore, van Bronckhorst must do whatever it takes to reassure the gem that he will get opportunities at Ibrox to avoid another Billy Gilmour or Rory Wilson disaster.