It is clear now that Lewis Mayo’s exit was yet another short-sighted Rangers decision in which the club’s refusal to use our youth players, no matter how good, led to Rangers losing what may just be the best young defender in Scotland, following the Kilmarnock stopper’s second MOTM display against the Old Firm in succession.
Following his exemplary performance against Michael Beale’s men on the opening day of the season, Mayo proved it was no fluke with a towering display against Brendan Rodgers’ counterparts, in a nod to Rangers’ diabolical youth policy which, frankly, is non-existent.
If there is one thing that has been abject at Ibrox, it’s been the refusal through generations to use the youth, with so few making it that questions have to be asked about why.
The two youth players in the last two seasons to creep up have been Leon King (nowhere near good enough) and Robby McCrorie (nowhere near used enough), while Mayo was let go, who is clearly the shining Rangers youth defender of the past decade.
In truth, this pattern was set under Walter – he wouldn’t use the kids either, he always signed players – it’s about the only criticism anyone can ever aim at our ex-manager – Barry didn’t break through under him, he made it under Dick Advocaat.
And since then it’s been much the same.
Now? Mayo is shining for Killie while we have to tolerate Connor Goldson, a £3M waster from the Championship. Imagine Mayo and Souttar, or Balogun – not Ben Davies.
£7M spent on rotten stoppers while talent like Mayo shines against the very best of the SPL.
There’s no question Rangers have failed our kids – while an Academy isn’t really based on the Barry Fergusons and Allan McGregors, but on selling the lesser kids to smaller clubs and profiting on them, nevertheless there are gems in there.
But our club refuses to use them.
Whoever the manager, the kids just don’t get used, and when they do, they’re either not good enough in the first place (King) or not used enough (McCrorie, Patterson).
James Tavernier is what you get when you waste your kids, ditto Goldson.
And that pattern will continue.
Our loss here is Kilmarnock’s gain.