Rangers got back to winning ways after two straight defeats in all competitions as they won away from Ibrox at the weekend.
The Gers smashed St. Mirren 4-0 in the Premiership as Kemar Roofe scored a hat-trick and Joe Aribo got in on the act with a stunning finish from distance.
It was a fantastic result for Gio van Bronckhorst’s side and one player who may have enjoyed it more than most was centre-back Leon King.
The academy defender came on to replace Filip Helander in the 45th minute for what was only his second Premiership appearance for Rangers and his first of the 2021/22 campaign.
As per SofaScore, he completed 87% of his attempted passes, including six of his ten long passes, and made three clearances as he helped the side to a clean sheet. It was a solid showing from the 18-year-old and one that may give van Bronckhorst plenty of food for thought heading into the summer.
With Connor Goldson’s contract expiring at the end of the season, King could be the natural heir to his centre-back throne.
John Souttar is set to join on a free transfer from Hearts later this year and the 25-year-old can be the perfect partner for the young Scot at Ibrox. In the Scottish top-flight this season, he has averaged a sublime SofaScore rating of 7.33 across 26 appearances.
He has consistently delivered on the pitch as he has won a whopping 71% of his duels whilst making four clearances per game. These statistics prove that he is a defensively dominant tank who can get the better of his opponent more often than not in matches, which makes him the perfect player to pair with a youngster making his way through.
Souttar’s dominance can carry King through matches to aid his development, allowing the teenager to settle into a first-team role before shouldering more responsibility.
After the St. Mirren clash, van Bronckhorst hailed the defender’s potential as he said: “He has so much quality but also a lot of room to improve.
“But that’s because he’s a young player and I’m happy he’s making the progress now.”
This highlights the scope for development King has and why he should be partnered with Souttar to learn from him, as the Hearts man has proven that he can excel in the Premiership.
The 18-year-old can save Ross Wilson millions by replacing Goldson and stepping up to the mark next season, just as he did in his 45 minutes on Sunday.