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Be honest. Did you even know Rangers had signed Glenn Middleton? Most didn’t! But despite failing to grab any headlines during the transfer window, Middleton could prove to be Rangers’ best signing of all in the long-term, ahead of Jason Cummings, Greg Docherty and Sean Goss.
The Scotland Under-19 International, who was born in Northampton, was effectively sneaked to Rangers under the cover of moonlight to avoid alerting other clubs of his surprise availability. Having worked with him at Norwich City, Rangers boss Graeme Murty couldn’t believe his luck when Middleton was up for a move to Rangers and he snapped him up instantly.
The club have officially said that Middleton has been bought for their academy team. He is only 18 after all but in truth, he has already been training with the first-team and has the talent to make an impact at that level pretty soon. Murty has already said publicly that if the winger continues his development at the current rate, he would not hesitate to throw the player into first-team action.
The fact that Middleton is a passionate Rangers fan would have played a huge part in his decision to leave England and sign on at Ibrox. The move is a dream come true for the youngster.
A strong runner, the left-footed forward can beat his man and can finish too, so he does appear as the complete package. Murty already sees him as physically ready but Middleton simply needs to get used to his surroundings and so a few games for the Under-20s may be the way to go before we see him in Scottish Premiership action.
Remember when Rangers came up from the Championship a couple of years ago in good style, they did it with a very young team. What did the hapless Mark Warburton do then? He brought in Senderos, Hill, Barton, Kranjcar and others and it was a sheer disaster.
Those mistakes should not be repeated again and the signings of Greg Docherty (21) and now Middleton are huge steps in the right direction for a club which should focus on the future first and foremost. Catching Celtic and regaining their position as the most powerful club in Scotland is the priority and so having the best, youngest, Rangers-supporting talent at their disposal will go a long way towards achieving their goals.
Middleton has a bright future, of that there is no doubt, and Graeme Murty will be hoping he gets to see this progression through.