If a report from the Daily Record is believed to be true, in-demand Rangers teenager Josh McPake is set to extend his Ibrox stay before leaving for Morecambe on a season-long loan. His current deal is set to expire next summer and the Gers are determined to keep hold of one of their prized assets for years to come.
The 19-year-old winger has progressed through the academy ranks of Rangers but is yet to make the cut in Steven Gerrard’s regular first-team plans. A loan spell at Dundee didn’t work out either due to injury woes, however, the youngster enjoyed a stellar stint last season in the English League Two with newly-promoted Harrogate Town.
McPake joined Greenock Morton back in September on a four-month loan deal with an option to extend the same. There he featured 10 times across competitions, but the Gers decided to bring him back in January amid an offer from the English fourth tier. There he found the net 4 times in 23 league outings [stats via Transfermarket] and played a key role in the Sulphurites’ survival. His uprise has earned the attention of Motherwell and Livingston, as well as Doncaster, Oldham and Tranmere Rovers from the lower leagues of England.
Despite the interest from an array of outfits, the Shrimps are leading the race to bring him to Lancashire. They have appointed Stephen Robinson as their new boss who left Motherwell in December after spending more than three years at Fir Park. The ex-Well chief is well aware of the Scottish market and therefore, has identified McPake as the fifth summer signing in an attempt to cement their place in the third tier of the English pyramid.
Why Rangers Have Made The Right Call Over McPake’s Future
Although right-footed, the young Scot prefers to operate from the left as an inverted winger. But he is equally effective from the right flank as exhibited last season in Harrogate colours. Having said that, the attacker must improve a number of aspects of his game including the physical presence and finishing traits.
Rangers are keen on tying McPake down until 2024 with no immediate first-team future at Ibrox. Ryan Kent and Scott Wright are lethal from the left, whereas the likes of Ianis Hagi, Kemar Roofe and Fashion Sakala are capable of featuring from the right. The future looks uncertain for Jordan Jones, Brandon Barker, Glenn Middleton and Jake Hastie who spent the previous campaign out on loan after falling down the pecking order and the Scotland youth international, therefore, must meet the expectations to stake a claim in Gerrard’s long-term plans.