Rangers prospect Zak Rudden is intent on making an impression on manager Steven Gerrard this summer, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
Gerrard already has two quality strikers to call upon – Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe – but with Kyle Lafferty on the out, there’s an opportunity to clinch the back-up striker spot that Rangers may need to enter the transfer market for this summer.
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Rudden is certainly full of confidence and, having signed a new contract recently, is determined to prove to his manager that he can rely upon an academy graduate to provide a goal threat, potentially saving the club money this summer.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the youngster said:
“I am delighted for the club to back me again and give me another deal, I am over the moon. I’m going to try and make the gaffer’s mind up that he doesn’t need another striker and that I am the guy that he wants to put in his team.
“I haven’t trained much with Jermain but I have spoken to him a few times and I will try and learn from him. I have developed a lot and I think I’ve become more like a man now instead of being a wee boy last season.
“The club said I did well on loan, but that there were bits of my game missing that I need to improve on. I just need to make sure I’m an all-round player this season.”
The loan Rudden talks about was at Falkirk last season in the Scottish Championship, where he impressed as the club’s top scorer with 12 goals in 31 appearances.
Ultimately his efforts could not stop the club being relegated, but it was the kind of season that could have been a massive learning experience for the teenager.
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Obviously he is untested as a player in the top-flight and it would be presumptuous to suggest he can be a main man at Ibrox next term, but his development last season surely earns him the chance to feature in upcoming summer friendlies.
If he can prove he has good finishing ability and a strong work ethic, why not invest time into his progression next season, rather than buy another forward?