Before today’s breaking news, Ibrox Noise was about to cover the recent turn of events with star winger Barrie McKay anyway, with the 22-year old forward having been ditched from the first team for the trip to Pittodrie, amidst rumours of discontent on his part towards the new Rangers regime.
Whatever the reason, manager Pedro Caixinha made a bold statement dropping him; in truth, McKay has not really lit up the SPL this season in the way fans expected. Indeed, the ex-manager outright ditched him around October due to his failure to deliver, and in fairness to McKay, he did produce a higher level in December when he regained his place, but this calendar year it must be said he has slightly regressed again.
And with today’s revelations that McKay has rejected a new deal amidst Everton hovering, we do appear to have hit something of a quandary.
McKay has talent, of that there is no doubt – when he is in the mood and hits form he is immensely productive. But he is not your typical winger. He does not really beat a man, he rarely puts in swinging crosses and his big weapon, pace, is usually deployed from deep rather than pure one on one dribbling action.
And when he is not in the mood, and that is increasingly the case these days, he is a borderline passenger because one of the crucial weaknesses of his game is his delivery. The boy just cannot cross.
He can link play, but unfortunately he mostly does so by cutting back and pushing the ball inside rather than the fleeting inside channels to an overlapping run.
What I am saying is that McKay, more and more this season flatters to deceive – he is not a terribly productive winger and has not been since Rangers were promoted – he simply does not score, and he does not even provide many assists.
Regular readers will know this is all hard for me to say, in light of how positive the site has been over the past five years about McKay’s development from rejected youth into Scottish international; but ever since that AWOL at Parkhead, McKay just has not been at the races and looks like he just is not at one with Pedro Caixinha.
And if he has indeed rejected a new deal, it forces the conclusion his heart is now elsewhere. Naturally we still have summer to see if he signs a new deal or lets his existing one expire in January 2018; far more likely would be his being sold this summer if he does not commit.
Every new regime tends to see a seismic change at a Club – a sacrificial lamb of a player who is made the high-profile casualty of change. For Real Madrid see Iker Casillas, for Man City look at Joe Hart – Pedro seems to have targeted McKay, for right or wrong, and the prized winger appears to be edging towards an exit.
But in truth he does not seem to be fitting into the new manager’s system, unlike other players who have had absolute new leases of life such as Holt, Wilson and the emergence of young Beerman.
Time will tell what will happen with McKay, but right now the only way is out.