Scotland Under-21s hammered San Marino 7-0 last night and it was pleasing to see a host of Rangers youngsters being heavily involved as they look to secure passage to the European Championships.
FULL TIME: San Marino 0-7 Scotland.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 13, 2020
Of the seven goals scored, five were created by Rangers players with almost forgotten man, Glenn Middleton chipping in with three, and Nathan Patterson and Stephen Kelly getting the others.
Middleton was promoted to the first-team squad early in his Rangers career and Steven Gerrard in particular took an early liking to the academy graduate, praising his work rate on the training ground:
“To be fair to Glenn, he works hard. When people are going in from the training ground, he wants to stay out.
“I’m having to drag him in every single day. He’s working on free-kicks, being direct and working on his crossing.
“That’s the way he’s got to be. He’s got to be obsessed with improving.”
He scored five goals and created five assists in 29 appearances in his debut season at just 18-years old, form which encouraged the gaffer to nail down any potential rumours about his future:
“He is a player for the future and I have to manage Glenn really well and put him in at the right time. In terms of potential, he has got it all.
“Glenn is staying here. We see him as a very important squad player and definitely being a big part of it.
“He is a baby, he is very young, so we have to make sure he has got his own individual plans in terms of training.”
Since his breakthrough season though, things haven’t gone quite to plan, with loan spells to Hibs and Bradford not really paying off but it must be remembered that he is still only 20 and has plenty of time ahead of him to develop, the potential he showed in 2018/19 shouldn’t be written off just yet.
He has all the physical attributes; he is very athletic, is fast and has a great engine, and technically he has an eye for a pass and is a composed finisher – particularly on his left foot.
Should Middleton be given more time at Rangers?
There have been sightings of him at left-back for the ‘B’ squad and he has also played in a more central attacking position, his potential certainly deserves to be given time to be fulfilled, three assists against San Marino might not make him the second coming of Brian Laudrup, but it serves as a reminder that he shouldn’t be written off just yet.