Why Rangers signing Aaron Hickey would be a massive statement of intent
According to the Daily Record, Rangers are weighing up a move for emerging Hearts starlet Aaron Hickey, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise at Tynecastle since his first-team breakthrough in the previous campaign.
Boosted by the appointment of new Sporting Director Ross Wilson, who departed Southampton to take up the role at Ibrox, Rangers are prepared to spearhead a move for Hickey in the January transfer window.
As per the report, Wilson had been tracking the 17-year-old left-back sensation closely during his tenure at St. Mary’s. He will urge Gers boss Steven Gerrard to complete a deal for the Hearts prodigy, who is also on the radar of reigning Premier League champions Man City.
Hickey, who rose through the youth system at Hearts before making his senior professional debut against Aberdeen last season, drew admiring glances from various scouts for his performance in the 2019 Scottish Cup final against Celtic, despite ending up on the losing side.
Up against one of the best wingers in the division, James Forrest, Hickey’s calm, composed and energetic display earned him plenty of plaudits on that day and the 17-year-old has been making waves with his consistently impressive displays for Craig Levein’s side in the Scottish Premiership this term.
The highly-rated teenage left-back has already made a total of 12 appearances across all competitions in the ongoing campaign and grabbed the headlines last month with his winner in the Edinburgh Derby against Hibernian at Easter Road.
To put things into perspective, Rangers’ interest in Aaron Hickey is likely to be welcomed warmly by the fans at Ibrox, given that the 17-year-old is right up there with the best emerging prospects across the nation.
The Gers lost 2-0 to Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the season. With the Hoops dropping points against Hibernian and Livingston in recent weeks, Rangers are currently top of the table in the Scottish Premiership.
Rangers are starting to reap the fruits of Gerrard’s squad overhaul in the summer, which marked the addition of as many as ten new players and the departure of a few fringe faces from the previous campaigns.
Although the Gers have adequate cover in almost all departments, left-back is one area where they lack genuine competition for places.
Of course, the resurgence of Borna Barisic this term after a disappointing first season at Ibrox hasn’t allowed the club’s left-back issues to be exposed but Gerrard is likely to be aware of the lack of alternatives in that position, with Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday being stop-gaps at best.
To that end, a move for Aaron Hickey in January would be an excellent piece of business in a bid to provide some specialist cover and competition for Barisic.
The 17-year-old is already rubbing shoulders with the big boys at the highest level and the Gers can certainly afford to look at him as a wonderful long-term investment, with veteran Lee Wallace no longer at the club.
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The Hearts prodigy, who is one of the best emerging prospects across the nation, is only going to get better with time and it would be a massive statement of intent from Rangers if they manage to beat off competition for his services.
Suffice to say, Rangers completing January swoop for Hickey would make perfect sense for a number of reasons.