Sunday, 13 January 2019

Steven Gerrard makes big call on striker

Rangers striker Zak Rudden, 18, has not only gone back to Falkirk for the rest of the season on loan, but only hours after his return to the Falkirk Stadium was confirmed, the hitman played in and scored a critical equaliser against Partick Thistle.

The nine-goal forward, who has impressed on his brief forays into the Rangers first team to the praise of manager Steven Gerrard, is very much seen as one for the future and likely to sink under the weight of competition up front at Ibrox at present.

While the striker options aren’t hugely deep, Rudden would still be more likely to be wasted in the Development Squad, with the likes of Jermain Defoe, Kyle Lafferty and Alfredo Morelos to compete with for the senior 9 position.

So it is certainly best for all concerned that the poacher gets first team football and continues to develop in a competitive environment like the Championship, in the hope he will be reliable enough within a few years that Rangers can make regular use of him.

You have to be a pretty special player these days to get promotion to Rangers’ first team at the age of 18 – Glenn Middleton proved he was, and while the ex-Norwich kid hasn’t played a tonne since he got the nod, he has certainly shown he has the talent – just requires to mature, which is not surprising for someone of his age.

But Rudden isn’t there yet, and his time at Falkirk will serve him well.

Especially if he keeps scoring as regularly as he has been.

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