If a report from The Scottish Sun is believed to be true, Rangers are expected to revive their interest in Manchester City teenager James McAtee. They are preparing a season-long loan move for the 19-year-old after failing to secure his services back in winter. However, the Gers are not alone in the hunt with Swansea City and Huddersfield Town being in the mix over a potential summer swoop.
The City owners have invested heavily both in the first-team and the academy ranks. McAtee is one of many promising prospects who has progressed through their youth setup. He joined the Skyblues back in 2013 and eventually made his Premier League debut last year. The youngster also featured against Sporting CP in a Champions League fixture, but the majority of his senior appearances have been in the Cups along with the EFL Trophy as part of City’s U23 squad.
Although the midfield prodigy enjoyed a boisterous PL2 and UEFA Youth League campaign with 21 goals and 7 assists in 25 appearances [stats via Transfermarket], it remains to be seen how the club ensures him senior minutes to develop his game. There is no immediate future in a star-studded City squad and a loan deal, therefore, is the most workable solution for all parties involved.
Why Rangers Should Grab His Signing
It’s been a quiet summer so far for Rangers who have only brought in John Souttar from Hearts on a Bosman. They might have extended the contracts of Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield, Connor Goldson and Steven Davis, but the fear of losing Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Alfredo Morelos is looming large amid interest from top European outfits.
Predominantly a midfield attacker, McAtee is also effective in a box-to-box role. A new ‘number 10’ should be targetted after Aaron Ramsey’s disastrous spell, whereas the long injury layoff of Ianis Hagi highlights the necessity of tying down the teenager. The likes of Davis, Aribo, John Lundstram, Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and James Sands are more effective down the deep as the double pivot or ‘number 8’, and the arrival of the England youth international should offer a much-needed creative spark in the centre of the pitch.
While the English Championship has been the perfect setup for years to nurture the youngsters, the Light Blues have emerged as an exciting destination given their European excellence in recent years. The Europa League runners-up might make it to the Champions League group stages if they overcome the playoff tests and Manchester City, keen on having McAtee ready for first-team football, should consider the Ibrox club among all his suitors.