Rangers recently announced the arrival of Zeb Jacobs as the club’s new head of coaching in the academy, with the Belgian set to officially join in January.
The Royal Antwerp youth development coach’s move to Glasgow could indicate a willingness from Giovanni van Bronckhorst to bring through the next batch of talent into the first team, and that could include signing new players to the academy.
US-based journalist Brian Sciaretta reported that the Gers recently had 17-year-old Colorado Rapids winger Dantouma ‘Yaya’ Toure on a trial. The forward has since gone on to train with Arsenal, although it remains to be seen where his future lies.
Gers chief Ross Wilson must work with Van Bronckhorst to convince Toure to make the move to Ibrox to work with Jacobs from January onwards, as he could be the club’s next Claudio Reyna.
Reyna played 91 games in all competitions for the club, scoring 13 goals in total, before heading off to England to play for Sunderland and Manchester City. He lifted two Premiership titles and one League Cup trophy with the Gers during his time at Ibrox, highlighting the success he had in Glasgow.
In Toure, Rangers could land their next American star. He has already been capped by the USA at under-16 and under-17 level, whilst he made his MLS debut for Colorado Rapids earlier this year, having been on loan to Switchbacks FC in the USLC prior to that, playing 23 times.
Colorado’s general manager Padraig Smith previously pointed to the teenager’s ‘tremendous potential’ and claimed that the forward is ‘powerful’, saying: “Yaya is an exciting talent who has already shown tremendous potential through his performances in the USL Championship as a 16-year-old.
“He’s powerful and explosive on the ball and has an ability to take on defenders that allows him to be a difference-maker. We believe he has all the qualities necessary to develop into an elite player and are excited to see what the future holds for him.”
This suggests that the 17-year-old has the potential to push on and make an impact at senior level, with Smith claiming that he could become an ‘elite player’. Therefore, Rangers could land a future star by bringing Toure to the club and find their new Captain America – Reyna 2.0 – as he has shown promise as a young player and is seemingly highly-rated in the USA.
There is also the potential financial boost from the marketing side of it. A successful young American international athlete could bring increased publicity across the Atlantic and uncover new markets for Rangers to explore, be it through advertising or shirt sales. However, it is hard to gauge how big of a factor that would be until it happens.