Incredibly, Football Insider, our ‘favourite’ site/source, also responsible for the Ibrox News website, actually got something correct it seems after they broke an exclusive last October that Rangers’ head of talent ID Phil Cowen was leaving for Arsenal.
The man effectively responsible for Leon King, Zak Lovelace, Alex Lowry and Ross McCausland has now started work at Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal as “Scotland & NI Lead Scout”.
This is very specific – it appears his job now at the Emirates is to find talent in Northern Ireland, as he did with McCausland for Rangers, and in Scotland, for Arsenal.
Long story short, if Arsenal come in trying to poach any of Rangers’ best youngsters, Phil Cowen is the reason why.
His gig now is scouting NI and Scotland and trying to bring the best players from those home nations to Arsenal’s academy.
We’re not going to pretend we knew who he was pretty much before today’s news, and fair play to good old FI – even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and they did get this… admittedly not massively important news, exclusively correct.
We did do a little bit of digging, and Cowen was in NI with the Sandy Tow RSC 6 years ago offering a presentation on the work the club was doing in NI, so clearly this is his specialty.
It appears the rise of McCausland alerted Arsenal to Cowen’s qualities and they brought him south after first being aware of him thanks to the NI international breaking into the first team.
Funnily enough, he agreed to go to Arsenal the moment Philippe Clement joined Rangers and McCausland finally properly broke into Rangers’ senior side.
Anyway, Rangers will replace him, probably already have, but aside McCausland and Nathan Patterson we can’t say we’re massively blown away by any of the Rangers youth the past 5 years.
Still, he’s Arsenal’s now, good luck to him!