Barrie McKay Still Has Point to Prove At Rangers

Under Ally McCoist things weren’t looking great for Barrie McKay. The winger was loaned out to Greenock Morton and then to Raith Rovers as he struggled to gain a place in the Rangers first team.

Much more was expected from the promising youngster who burst into the Gers senior set-up back in 2012.

But everything changed when current Rangers boss Mark Warburton walked into Ibrox during the summer of 2015.

Warburton decided that McKay had talent and he would give the creative attacker another chance in the Gers first team. Barrie took that chance with both hands and he was consistently impressive in the Scottish Championship.

In the last few months, McKay has again impressed and that has seen the twenty-two year old linked with a £6m move to Germany with RB Leipzig. Others suggest that he could also be on a few English Premier League club’s radars.

Bundesliga side Leipzig have already dipped their toes in British market, having signed fellow Scot Oliver Burke last summer for £13m. ‘Die Roten Bullen’ have also been linked with Brentford’s Scott Hogan this month.

RB Leipzig’s owners want to make them a force in German football and to that end they’re willing to spend money on talented young players that can improve their squad for years to come. They currently sit second in the Bundesliga and the Red Bull outfit will see that as vindication that they are making the right moves in the transfer window.

McKay caught the eye, after impressing in a friendly match between Rangers and RB Leipzig earlier this month.

After the match, Burke gave Barrie some special praise:

“I don’t know him (Barrie McKay) all that well, but he’s capable of anything he wants to do. He’s a good quality player and I believe if he keeps working hard and keeps showing what he’s capable of then, of course, anything can happen in football. He’s a great player and he’s shown that.”

It’s believed that McKay’s performance was also noticed by RB Sporting Director Ralf Rangnick, who may have then held preliminary talks with Rangers about the player’s situation.

Mark Warburton commented on his star performer this week:

“If clubs come in, unsettle the players and it’s good business for our club, then we will do it.

“Barrie is a very talented player and he is a Rangers player. I’m delighted with his progress over the last 18 months.”

“He is technically gifted, physically strong, quick. He sees a pass. He has got such a bright future for the Scottish national team.”

“He showed against Celtic recently and again against RB Leipzig last Sunday that he can outstanding against top teams. So it is quite natural that he is one of many names who will be looked at.”

Those comments show that the Gers gaffer clearly likes the player and believes in his ability but it doesn’t go far enough to suggest that he’ll definitely remain at Ibrox in the long-term.

You could understand why Warburton may accept a bid of £6m or more for the player. If he can use the majority of the cash then it could help strengthen the team with two or three decent signings.

But if I were Barrie McKay, I’d be more inclined to stay at Rangers at least till the end of the season and then assess my options.

Yes he’s a very talented forward and has the potential to improve greatly. He works hard, has pace and trickery to beat a man and also has an eye for a goal too.

But he still hasn’t had a standout season in Scotland’s top flight. At the start of the Scottish Premiership season, he simply wasn’t on it. He was off pace, his season only really picked up in the winter months.

Why not take all these plaudits at the moment, continue your fine form and then see if you have more options in the summer?

Plus let’s not forget, he hasn’t won anything of note at Rangers yet.

I’m reminded of Alan Hutton’s Gers departure. It happened too soon for the full-back, who was in the form of his life.

Now Hutton was basically pushed out of Ibrox, so will that happen to McKay? That’s when the Rangers faithful need to hear from chairman Dave King.

I’d prefer it, if McKay is to leave Ibrox, that he does go to the continent rather than go straight to the English Premier League. I think he’d get a better footballing eduction in Germany than he would if he were to go down south.

It’s all a case of wait and see what happens next with this story, as no bids have been made at this stage.


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