Promising Glasgow Rangers youngster Josh McPake has arrived at a crossroads in his career.
The Rangers winger, 19, is expected to pen a deal with English League Two side Harrogate Town in the coming days after completing a loan spell with Greenock Morton in the Championship.
In three years at Ibrox, McPake has taken the first steps in his fledgeling career from unknown prospect to highly-regarded prodigy, winning the club’s prestigious Academy Player of the Year award in 2019. He signed a new contract with Steven Gerrard’s Gers in that same year, keeping him at his boyhood club until 2022.
McPake made his first-team debut for the Gers in a Europa League qualifying game against St Joseph’s at Ibrox, coming off the bench to replace Greg Docherty.
Since then, however, his development somewhat stalled, until he was sent out on loan to Championship club Dundee, only for his brief progress to be brought to an abrupt halt after he suffered an ankle injury.
He subsequently spent the first half of the season on loan at Morton but things didn’t go according to plan after David Hopkin stepped down.
However, the right-winger still managed to supply one assist in ten appearances across all competitions, via Transfermarkt, which clearly shows that the talent is still there, though he has, so far, failed to find the back of the net this term.
Rangers academy coach Graeme Murty was full of praise for his former young charge, saying: “He’s got lots to his game. He’s got lots of ability and he’s very elusive. I think he’s got an elite level of technique at his particular strength. There’s lots of bits he needs to develop and lots of bits he needs to work on but he’s a threat, he’s an out-and-out threat and you can see that by the amount of close attention, shall we say, that he was paid in the game.”
But the trouble is, the Light Blues are blessed with a plethora of options in his position, namely Kemar Roofe and Ianis Hagi, the latter of whom is only a couple of years older than McPake.
Despite his age, time could be running out for the talented teen to make an impact, as he so far hasn’t reached the same heights of his 2019-20 season. After a definite slump at Dundee, albeit hindered by injuries, he needs to make the most of his opportunities at Harrogate, as he needs to prove to Rangers, and perhaps to himself, that he can play at a competitive level.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers must sign former Leicester City starlet Dennis Gyamfi in January…