Rangers have enjoyed recent success after winning the Premiership title last season and securing their place in the last eight of the Europa League this week.
The Gers are still in the race to win the league this term and are also in contention to lift the Scottish Cup after reaching the semi-finals.
They have been able to do so with a team consisting mainly of players they have brought in from elsewhere, with the only prominent player to come from the academy being Allan McGregor – albeit now in his second spell at Ibrox.
Nathan Patterson is the most recent academy success, being sold to Everton for a club-record fee in January, but have the club made any mistakes in that aspect over the years?
One youth team player with whom Rangers made a huge howler with was left-back Greg Taylor, now of arch-rivals Celtic. He came up through the ranks at Ibrox before being released for nothing in 2014 during Ally McCoist’s time in charge.
This led to the Hoops taking an interest in his services and he arrived at Parkhead in 2019. Since his move back to Glasgow, Taylor has produced one goal and 14 assists 75 outings for Celtic, winning one Premiership title.
Current Scotland manager Steve Clarke previously dubbed him “absolutely outstanding” and his statistics in recent years back up that claim. This season, the 24-year-old has averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 6.97 in the league, making 2.8 tackles and interceptions per match whilst also providing 1.3 key passes per game from left-back.
Last term, he managed the same SofaScore rating whilst making 2.3 tackles and interceptions and 1.3 key passes per match. He also created an exceptional seven ‘big chances’, which shows that he has the quality to be a game-changer with his ability to set up his team-mates in front of goal with excellent delivery from the left.
At the age of 24, the Scotland tank also has the potential to push on and improve even further, and his current performance levels may only be the start of what he is able to achieve. Celtic now look set to benefit from his talents for years to come, whilst Rangers allowed him to leave for nothing whilst he was in their youth setup.
Therefore, McCoist made a huge blunder as he was unable to spot Taylor’s talent at the time. Of course, he was not the player that he is now when he was in the youth team at Ibrox, but that does not mean that the signs weren’t there, as Kilmarnock swiftly picked him up and he established himself in the Premiership.
What could have been…