Despite a disappointing return to Champions League football, Rangers have recovered from a slow start and regained momentum in the Premiership hunt. Teenage star Leon King has been a revelation so far amid frailties and fitness woes in the defensive third and his emergence has drawn the attention of Premier League hotshots. According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle United and Leeds United are scouting the youngster.
Many clubs are monitoring Rangers centre back Leon King (2004) who started against Liverpool at Anfield, last week — he’s out of contract in June 2024. 👀🏴 #transfers
Manchester United, Newcastle and Leeds have already sent their scouts to follow King. pic.twitter.com/gE7Iza7uJW
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 11, 2022
The 18-year-old centre-half progressed through Rangers’ academy ranks and went on to make his senior debut in November 2020. He appeared a few times towards the closure of the previous term, but the ongoing campaign is proving to be a breakthrough one with regular gametime in the heart of the backline.
King was initially the sixth-choice centre-back behind Connor Goldson, John Souttar, Filip Helander, James Sands and Ben Davies. However, he climbed up the pecking order amid injuries to Helander, Souttar and Davies. Sands looked vulnerable in deep defence while partnering with Goldson and the gaffer, therefore, tried his luck with the teenager in search of stability after an array of heavy defeats across competitions.
Why The Rangers Starlet Holds A High Ceiling
Although he has mostly featured as a substitute, his first major test was last midweek’s high-profile European clash versus Liverpool. Van Bronckhorst opted for a ‘back three’ and the young prospect showed great resilience all throughout the Anfield outing. He was fearless with his tackles, challenges and blocks in spite of conceding a penalty early into the second half. King did not succumb to pressure and his headstrong performance earned a lot of praise from the manager.
Meanwhile, the defender has less than two years left in his Rangers contract. He only extended his stay back in January, but Gers are yet to tie him down to a long-term deal. The growing interest from England might be a blow for the Light Blues and the player, too, should play the waiting game before making a decision on his future.
Having said that, it’s too early to speculate with a lot to play for in the upcoming months. The Scotland youth international must enjoy his minutes before making the next career move. An immediate exit would jeopardize his gametime as well as slow down the development that he has achieved at Rangers on his own merits.