Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rangers Ropes In American Sensation: Why The Fans Should Get Excited About This Deal

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Rangers are flying high both at home as well as abroad and the squad reconstruction under Steven Gerrard is finally paying off. They are moments away from conquering the Premiership crown and according to The Athletic, the Bears have hit the jackpot by roping in American sensation Francis Jacobs.

The 15-year-old midfield prodigy signed a deal with Orange County back in August 2019 and went on to become the youngest professional soccer player in the nation’s history at the age of 14 years 4 months and 29 days. His emergence has earned him a couple of USL Championship appearances and the Gers, having struck a strategic partnership with the California-based outfit, are set to secure his services once the youngster turns 16 next month.

Jacobs, meanwhile, enjoyed a productive spell last year with Rangers reserves who travelled to Doha and took part in the Alkass Cup. He then returned to Orange County and developed his game, both physically and technically. He is already 6 feet tall and is comfortable in various midfield positions.

“My main two positions are probably the number six and the number eight. I’d say passing is one of my biggest strengths. My shooting is something I could work on. Playing number six I didn’t find myself in a lot of shooting positions so I didn’t really shoot the ball a lot.”

Revealed the teenager in 2019 while speaking to Forbes after his debut.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard in the dugout
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 04: Steven Gerrard, Manager of Rangers gives his team instructions during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Ross County at Ibrox Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

One For The Future?

Rangers, however, are well equipped in the centre of the pitch with Steven Davis, Ryan Jack, Joe Aribo, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield slotted in Gerrard’s three-man midfield. Nnamdi Ofoborh would join them in the summer having already signed a pre-contract earlier this month, but the loan move of Bongani Zungu won’t be made permanent due to disciplinary reasons (for breaching COVID protocols). That does not lead to any immediate crisis though and the young American professional is tipped to join the academy ranks initially to attune to the demands of Scottish football.

Having said that, the likes of Ross McCrorie and Greg Docherty failed to grab a regular status at Ibrox following Gerrard’s arrival. Jamie Barjonas, too, could not impress the gaffer enough despite a promising pre-season and is expected to part ways eventually. He was supposed to join Orange County before the talks broke down recently, but the future of Jacobs is indeed sorted unless any late complications arise.

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