Scott McDermott and Jonny McFarlane discussed all of the latest Rangers news on the most recent edition of the Record Rangers podcast, and McDermott spent some time talking about 16-year-old Gers centre-back Leon King during the show.
This comes after King made his debut for the Glasgow club in their 4-0 Scottish League Cup win over Falkirk this past weekend.
The ‘highly-rated’ teenager, who signed his first professional contract with the Glasgow club earlier this year in a deal that saw him become ‘one of the best-paid youngsters’ in Rangers’ history according to the Daily Record, came on as a 71st-minute substitute for Gers captain James Tavernier in Sunday’s game and helped Steven Gerrard’s side to see out the match and keep a clean sheet.
Considering that he’s made his first-team debut for the Ibrox club at such a young age, perhaps it’s understandable why, after sharing that he’s been watching the teenager’s progression closely ever since Brian Gilmour, who coaches Rangers’ B team, identified him as a ‘special talent’, McDermott shared some excitement over King during this podcast, saying:
“Leon King would have been 14-15 [years old] tops and I remember saying to Brian, ‘Of all the kids in there at Rangers, is there one you would hang your hat on? Is there a special talent?’ And the name that came back was Leon King.
“So, I’ve kind of deliberately taken an interest and tried to watch his development and look at how he’s getting on. He’s obviously come through the ranks, he’s obviously still doing well, and to see him getting a first-team debut at 16 at Rangers is quite incredible and it just goes to show that Brian had obviously seen something a few years ago and it’s come to fruition.
“The boy’s got, obviously, a long way to go before he makes the grade, but the signs regarding Leon King, in particular, must be very, very good and Gerrard and Gary McAllister and Michael Beale wouldn’t have had him involved at that level for that game on Sunday if they didn’t think he was capable which must be really encouraging for Rangers fans to see.”
Are you excited about King's future at Rangers?
TIF Thoughts on what McDermott had to say about King…
Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Gilmour picked King out as one to watch for the future at Ibrox given that the club have clearly shown plenty of faith in the 16-year-old in the past by handing him a relatively high-paying two-year professional contract.
Now that he’s made his senior debut for the Gers, it will be interesting to see how Gerrard utilises King and handles his progression from this point.
He is still very young, so perhaps his first-team appearances will be sporadic at best for the near future, but as McDermott explained, Gerrard and the Gers’ first-team coaches clearly think that he’s got enough talent to be in and around the senior squad, so perhaps Rangers fans should expect to see more of King in the first team, which, considering his age, will surely be exciting for fans of the Glasgow club.