We must admit we’re more than a spot disappointed at Ross McCrorie’s relegation to Portsmouth. Let’s face it, Rangers to League One is genuinely a huge downgrade, and while it gave Greg Docherty a new lease of life and development in a new position, Docherty was loaned out because Gerrard viewed him as surplus and not ready for his Rangers team.
That, given the dozen of appearances Ross McCrorie has made at age 22 for the Famous, surely doesn’t apply to him.
Which is not us saying we’re outright bitter about this move – let’s face it, the post-split Rangers last season was exceptional, and appears to be starting pre-season in much the same manner – so few can argue with any decision Gerrard takes from here on in.
But we find the loan for McCrorie, if not outright ‘insulting’, then a bit puzzling.
McCrorie has 55 appearances for Rangers, and has bloomed since moving into midfield. While he’s a ‘different’ player to Glen Kamara and Steven Davis, Rangers are barely any weaker for his being in the side, and all three offer something different.
We guess the issue we have is exactly what is McCrorie going to achieve at Portsmouth at 22? What is he going to learn for life at Ibrox that he hasn’t already?
Ultimately, what we’re saying is, if McCrorie isn’t part of Stevie’s plans this season (his direct competition is 23 and 34), he probably isn’t part of them at all, and why don’t Rangers just sell him now – Portsmouth do want an option to buy, a ‘try before you buy’, so we suspect the move will become permanent.
We’re not exactly bitter, and we’re certainly not demanding McCrorie is the first name on the team sheet, not with the results and performances the way they are. We also suggested McCrorie would indeed be going out on loan, something Gerrard strongly hinted at anyway.
But to Portsmouth on loan? We can understand a Sheyi Ojo, a Ryan Kent, a Joe Worrall etc coming to Ibrox to get serious big team and senior football experience, but what on earth can a lad who’s been in the Rangers first team for four years possibly learn down there that will prepare him Rangers?
We just don’t get the impression Gerrard wants McCrorie, and while he’s absolutely right to thin the herd at Ibrox, we feel young Ross would have been better off sold (to Portsmouth or anyone else) and starting anew.
The only contingency is that Stevie knows Kamara will be a serious target for sale in the future, if he continues to develop as he has – and wants a ready-made replacement match fit to come back in.
McCrorie is a team player and will do what it takes for his club. If Steven Gerrard thinks his going out on loan is the best thing for Rangers, that is what McCrorie has done.
We just wonder if we really will ever see McCrorie become the midfield fulcrum in our colours we believe he could be. Especially given the purchase clause Pompey are looking for.