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Rangers: Beale could unearth Ibrox’s own Rice in Charlie McCann

While new Glasgow Rangers boss Michael Beale will no doubt be largely focused on improving the club’s fortunes at first-team level, the Englishman will also likely have one eye on the Ibrox side’s academy ranks, having previously helped to nurture and develop young talent in his coaching career thus far.

The Bromley-born visionary notably worked in the youth set-up at Premier League sides Chelsea and Liverpool in the past, playing a pivotal role in the development of an array of young stars in that time.

The former Queens Park Rangers boss enjoyed particular success during his time at Stamford Bridge, having reportedly worked closely with the likes of Reece James, Mason Mount and Declan Rice to aid them on their way to their present success.

According to GOAL, the former Gers assistant remains in contact with the latter man – as well as Mount – with the two men said to regularly ‘pick Beale’s brain’ despite the 42-year-old having long since moved on from west London.

While Rice would eventually go on to join West Ham United at the age of 14, the England international is a shining example of Beale’s coaching prowess, with the 23-year-old having emerged as arguably the “best midfielder in the country” in recent times, in the words of pundit Paul Parker.

Currently coveted by some of the Premier League’s top clubs, the Hammers skipper has already enjoyed a meteoric rise in his career to date, having racked up 215 appearances for his current side thus far, while also making 39 appearances for his country at senior level.

Beale will no doubt be looking to find his next Rice-esque figure whom he can unearth from the Glasgow side’s academy ranks, with one suitable candidate potentially that of 20-year-old starlet, Charlie McCann.

The deep-lying midfielder – who made the move to Glasgow from Manchester United back in the summer of 2021 – has already enjoyed a fleeting impact in the first team thus far, making seven appearances for the Light Blues to date.

The hope will be that the Coventry-born sensation – who represents Northern Ireland at youth level – will be able to kick on and truly establish himself in the senior set-up with Beale now at the helm, with the youngster having already shown flashes of his quality.

The former Red Devils youth asset was notably lauded by journalist Josh Bunting over the summer, with the respected source stating: “Charlie McCann is a quality player for Rangers, a real natural number 8 who must be knocking on the first team door. His goal today was stunning but his all round play is very sharp. Has a nice pass selection, always wants to get on the ball and make something happen.”

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Having also been praised by club legend Kenny Miller – who described him as a “very, very good player” – McCann has certainly made an impression on those at Ibrox, with the aim now for him to be trusted with a regular role in Beale’s set-up.

To be able to work with a man who has been influential in shaping the career of the aforementioned Rice will surely be an exciting and potentially fruitful prospect for the emerging playmaker.