Monday, October 3, 2022

Southampton Keeping Close Tabs On Rangers Centre-Back: Should Gerrard Sanction A Transfer?

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from  The Scottish Sun is believed to be true, Rangers youngster Kyle McClelland is being tracked by Premier League side Southampton over a potential summer move. The Saints, known for their prestigious academy ranks, have scouted the teenager extensively in recent months and are expected to assess him further prior to the conclusion of the current term.

McClelland is not the only defender though who has drawn the attention of the South Coast outfit. Celtic centre-half Leo Hjelde is also a summer target following his uprise in recent months since completing a January loan move to Ross County. The 17-year-old Norwegian is already playing a key role in their battle to escape a relegation scare and, therefore, exhibiting his expertise in the top tier of Scottish football.

Meanwhile, the Rangers prodigy completed a youth loan move to League One leaders Falkirk a month ago and is yet to feature in a league game donning the Bairns shirt. He made it to the matchday squad thrice but remained as an unused substitute every time. But a couple of Scottish Cup appearances have been recorded by the 19-year-old, including the 3-0 3rd Round defeat against the reigning champions Celtic.

Rangers youngster McClelland has represented Scotland in youth ranks but switched his allegiance to Northern Ireland three years back. Currently featuring for their U19s, the teenage sensation holds a bright career road ahead of him. He is under contract with the Gers reserves until the summer of 2022 and the loan move to Falkirk should help him grow his game with more senior minutes before a decision is made over his long-term future.

Rangers youngster McClelland is in action against Celtic U18s
25th April 2019, Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish FA Youth Cup Final, Celtic U18s versus Rangers U18s; Barry Coffey of Celtic slide tackles Kyle McClelland of Rangers PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxSWExNORxDENxFINxONLY ActionPlus12127335 VagelisxGeorgariou

Why McClelland Does Not Have An Immediate Future At Ibrox

The Bears are blessed to have an array of towering central defensive options. Connor Goldson and Filip Helander have formed a formidable pairing in the heart of the backline, whereas veteran Leon Balogun has delivered as well whenever called into action.

Steven Gerrard did not suffer at all due to the season-long absence of Nikola Katic as he even allowed George Edmundson to join Derby County on loan to attain regular game-time in the English championship. Moreover, Jack Simpson has been roped in from Bournemouth during the winter window and the emergence of Lewis Mayo and Leon King depicts how difficult it would be for McClelland to climb up the ladder.

The young centre-half is not in Gerrard’s immediate plans and it is to be seen now whether the gaffer lets him join Southampton and make a financial profit upon completion of the ongoing campaign.

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