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Glasgow Rangers wonderkid Leon King could be Steven Gerrard’s next Connor Goldson

Glasgow Rangers weren’t exactly quiet in the summer transfer window, but perhaps Ross Wilson could have added the icing on the cake with one final signing.

Steven Gerrard was given not one but two back-up strikers in the form of Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe, whilst Wilson also brought in Bongani Zungu before the stroke of play on transfer deadline day.

Whilst Rangers secured the services of Leon Balogun on a one-year deal in the summer with the option to extend his contract for a further year after Nikola Katic suffered a serious knee injury during pre-season training, Filip Helander and George Edmundson are currently self-isolating with the latter having fallen afoul of the coronavirus guidelines.

This means that the Ibrox boss only has three options for two centre-back positions at present – as talented left-back Calvin Bassey can also play in a more central role if required, whilst Connor Goldson and Balogun are almost guaranteed to start against Scottish Premiership rivals Ross County at Victoria Park on Sunday afternoon.

Can Steven Gerrard get the best out of Leon King?

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An injury crisis or an outbreak of coronavirus cases could cause several problems at the back, so the Ibrox boss may want to think about dipping into the academy ranks, and he may be more inclined to do so after Leon King made his first-team debut last weekend.

Rangers crushed Scottish League One club Falkirk in a comfortable 4-0 win in the Betfred Cup to cruise into the last eight with the 16-year-old coming off the bench to replace James Tavernier at right-back in the second half.

Primarily a centre-back, King is cut from a similar cloth to Goldson, who has also been utilised at right-back in the past.

In 15 appearances in the Scottish Premiership this season, the 27-year-old has scored two goals and supplied one assist, whilst he is averaging 1.1 tackles per game, via WhoScored.

It’s no surprise, then, that Goldson has attracted attention from clubs south of the border, as reports in recent times revealed that several Premier League side retain an interest in the Wolverhampton-born defender, which is where King could come into the fray.

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Despite his young age, his rapid progress hasn’t gone unnoticed, as the teenager has already made the jump from the academy ranks to the senior squad, albeit on a temporary basis.

Former Rangers full-back Alan Hutton hailed the young talent after the win last weekend, telling Football Insider: “It’s crazy, at 16, to be playing in the Rangers first-team.

“I think he turns 17 just in January but they’ve done really well to hold onto him, I think he’s kind of the next one, the next big one that we see making the breakthrough.

“A lot of teams down south, I know, were interested in him but he signed a new contract back in March – another great prospect for the future, they speak about him very highly.

“Even though he’s physically ready, I don’t think he’s ready in terms of coming in and playing all the time. I think it’s about learning, training with the first-team, getting used to that sort of atmosphere and progressing well.

“To get those compliments from Steven Gerrard, again, another one that must have his confidence absolutely through the roof at the moment.”

The Daily Record recently reported that King has signed his first professional contract with the 54-time Scottish champions which made him one of the club’s highest-paid youngsters in the process, amid interest from the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.

If that’s the case, then the Ibrox boss would be wise to integrate him further into the first team to ward off any potential suitors, especially when you consider the impact of Bassey in recent weeks.

Goldson could act as the perfect mentor to the young academy product as it’s fair to say that King is still learning about the game and life in general. After all, he has experienced both the highs and lows of being a professional footballer after returning from successful surgery.

AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers boss Steven Gerrard could unshackle Kemar Roofe as the team’s No. 10

Article title: Glasgow Rangers wonderkid Leon King could be Steven Gerrard’s next Connor Goldson

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