As is always the case when the summer approaches, numerous players tend to get released from the club, and it’s always a particularly painful time for some of the youngsters in particular.
And on Thursday morning, Rangers confirmed that five of their academy players will move on from the development squad, with Portuguese starlet Joao Balde one of the names to be let go.
After the confirmation of the news, Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland, delivered a message to those that had been released, saying: “This is a difficult time of year for staff and players when key decisions are made on where these young men will continue their football journeys. We will always be here to support the lads and assist them in any way we can. They leave well-rounded and educated young men and we wish them well as they enter their next chapter.”
Whilst Balde didn’t make a single appearance for the senior side, he was clearly highly thought of, with academy coach David McCallum waxing lyrical about his abilities after his performance in the SFA Youth Cup quarter-finals.
He said: ” Joao Balde – some of the things that Joao can do, I don’t think any of us can teach him. He does things off the cuff and it can be really productive as it was on that occasion.”
And after his exit was announced, Balde took to Instagram to share a post confirming that he has now left the club, and wished the Gers well going forward.
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He may not have gotten onto the pitch at Ibrox as a first-team player, but Balde certainly seemed to have a lot of promise judging by what McCallum had to say about him.
But at only 19, perhaps a return to the Scottish side could be on the cards in the future.