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Rangers: MacKinnon could make up for ‘big’ Connor Goldson blow

Glasgow Rangers are currently suffering as a result of the injury absence to defender Connor Goldson, with the Ibrox stalwart facing an extended period on the sidelines.

What’s the word?

The centre-back – who arrived at Ibrox back in 2018 – is reportedly set for a lengthy stint on the treatment table as a result of his recent thigh injury, having been forced off during the gruelling defeat to Liverpool last week.

The 29-year-old could potentially be out for “several months” as a result of that issue – despite some reports suggesting the complaint may not be as bad as first feared – with manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst having admitted it is a “big blow” for his Rangers side to be without the influential centre-back.

Journalist Pete O’Rourke – in an interview with Football FanCast – has echoed the view of the Dutchman with regards to just what a setback it is for the Old Firm outfit, albeit while suggesting that it could open the door for another individual to shine.

Asked how much of a blow the 6 foot 3 brute’s absence will be, the respected insider stated: “Yeah, it’s a huge blow. Connor Goldson, the talismanic figure for Rangers at the back. He’s one of the first names on the team sheet for Giovanni van Bronckhorst, so to be without your star defender for a few months now will be a huge blow for Rangers.

“But again, that allows other players to maybe step in now and impress in his absence as well.”

Unleash Lewis MacKinnon

One figure who could well benefit from the loss of Goldson is that of 19-year-old, Lewis MacKinnon, with the teenage centre-back having impressed for the club’s ‘B’ team of late, having joined from Linfield back in 2019.

The promising youngster – who signed a new deal with the Glasgow side back in May – will likely be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow youth product, Leon King, with the latter man having already forced his way into Van Bronckhorst’s plans at first-team level.

With fellow defenders John Souttar and Filip Helander also current sidelined, however, there may well be further room in the senior ranks for another academy asset to make the step up, with MacKinnon one such talent who could well secure a deserved promotion, having thus far failed to feature for the Gers.

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The Northern Irishman has impressed from his defensive berth so far this season, proving something of a threat in an attacking sense with three goals in 17 appearances across all fronts, notably scoring in the defeat to Ajax in the UEFA Youth League back in September.

The player himself has admitted that there is a “pathway” there to the first team – with the likes of the aforementioned King, as well as Robbie Ure and Charlie McCann, having bridged that gap of late – with Goldson’s absence providing the ideal chance for Van Bronckhorst to unleash his next teen star in the coming weeks.