The likes of Charlie McCann, Alex Lowry and Leon King, among others, were handed game-time to showcase their quality at senior level.
King started alongside Connor Goldson at centre-back and put in a mature display as he helped the team to a clean sheet against in a 2-0 win over Dundee United.
The 18-year-old gem stepped up and made the most of his opportunity, and he may now force Van Bronckhorst to consider his plans for the summer.
The Athletic reporter Jordan Campbell heaped praise on the defender’s performance, tweeting: “Leon King been very assured today at centre-back, and now at left-back. He’ll have more difficult tests of his defensive ability but his distribution been really tidy and he’s never rushed or panicked on the ball.”
Josh Bunting was another journalist left impressed by the teenager’s display, tweeting: “Thought Leon King was really impressive today, so comfortable on the ball, broke the lines well, big player for the future at Rangers, just never really looked fazed, went about everything really comfortable. Good pass selection as well. Assured performance and more to come.”
This display from the centre-back suggests that he has the quality to make the step up to senior football, and he must now be given more game-time in the 2022/23 campaign. He can take on more responsibility throughout the season as a backup to the first-choice options.
By unleashing the teenager as a regular squad member, Van Bronckhorst will finally be able to axe Filip Helander from the club, after a season riddled with injuries for the Swede. FFC previously published an article explaining why the £14k-per-week dud must be moved on in the summer amid interest from Aston Villa, and King’s emergence gives them the perfect chance to cash in on the 29-year-old.
The Rangers academy product has averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.90 across three Premiership outings this term. Meanwhile, Helander has averaged a rating of 6.75 in six appearances for the Light Blues, suggesting that the youngster could be an upgrade on the Sweden international in the immediate future, whilst also having 11 years on the former Bologna enforcer.
Therefore, Van Bronckhorst must make King a regular first-team squad member in 2022/23 and sanction the sale of Helander to Villa.