Ross McCausland is ready for the next Rangers step

Ross McCausland is ready for the next Rangers step
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Ross McCausland of Rangers has an attempt at goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Livingston FC at Ibrox Stadium on February 03, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

One player we’ve really not scrutinised a lot is young Ross McCausland. The Rangers winger broke through in November and after a huge amount of initial excitement at an Auchenhowie graduate finally cracking the first team, the fervour has maybe settled a little and with a calm and fair approach, Ibrox Noise will look into how the young lad is doing.

Let’s first of all be absolutely clear – we’re delighted to say the least that this boy has made it to the senior team, to the senior squad, and while he’s not technically actually an Academy graduate (signed from Linfield at 16) he’s still very much one of ours.

He’s a dyed-in-the-wool fan, is at the club he wants to be at, and he’s living the dream.

But how is he faring?

Well, after that initial ‘wow excitement’ McCausland has maybe not actually developed all that much.

The soon-to-be 21-year-old maybe hasn’t yet quite kicked on or evolved to the extent anticipated, and if we were to be honest, he’s not really developed beyond the player he initially looked like.

We may well be being a spot unfair, he’s only broken through since November, but that is only one month less than Philippe Clement has been manager, and we’ve seen a lot of evolution elsewhere.

Look at how Cyriel Dessers has improved, then there’s even John Lundstram and of course Dujon Sterling. All of these guys have grown to excellent form.

There is plenty of evolution in the team, of improvement, but at the moment McCausland isn’t really among that.

He’s rather the same player he was when he broke through, and his numbers are moderate. 25 appearances, 3 goals and 4 assists. It’s ok but it’s not even a one in three level here.

By comparison, new signing Oscar Cortes, who was a bit-part player at the same age for Lens, getting just 10 appearances, has already amassed 6 goals/assists in those 10 in France – at a much harder and higher level for a team who didn’t even accommodate his style. It’s massively superior.

McCausland simply needs to up the quality of his game.

He’s getting in lots of work, lots of shots, good tight passing, and he’s working hard as well to track back. Don’t think we hadn’t notice the defensive side of his game getting attention. He deserves credit for that. He also nailed a very good assist for Todd Cantwell at the weekend. His first proper true assist.

But to truly impress as a Rangers winger you need to deliver yet more. Rangers fans are very harsh on Rabbi Matondo but his numbers are actually better than McCausland with a tonne less minutes. Matondo has 5 goals and assists in 13 in just 418 minutes in the SPL, for McCausland it’s 3 goals and assists in 16 in 907 minutes.

Half the minutes and significantly better assists and goals.

McCausland is trailing. Both are internationals, just, and both are similar ages.

But while fans are understandably very supportive of McCausland as a Rangers boy himself, he needs to offer more in total to be truly deserving of that support.

With Oscar Cortes breathing down his neck, and Matondo’s numbers looking better, Ross will need to finally take the next step in his career to justify the high hopes fans have for him.

He has the tools, but he can’t sit at ‘promising’ forever.

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