Kris Boyd has revealed that he felt “sorry” for Rangers teammate John Fleck prior to him leaving the club back in 2012.
The midfielder came through the academy at Ibrox, making his senior debut as a 16-year-old in 2008.
He would go on to make 41 appearances for the Gers, but never managed to hold down a regular spot for his boyhood club.
Now at Sheffield United, Fleck is being linked with a potential £20 million move to Premier League big guns Arsenal, as per Football Insider.
And ex-Bears colleague Boyd has lifted the lid on the tough conditions that saw the man of the moment leave Glasgow in the first place.
“When he was coming through, he was the most-talked-about youngster in Scottish football, and rightly so.
“But when you go back to that Rangers team, he couldn’t really get into it. He couldn’t really get a position that suited him because we were so strong and John was so young.
“Fair play to him because he took the chance in leaving. He didn’t want to hang around a big football club and be a part of it. He wanted to go and better himself. He went to Blackpool for a few games and then made a move to Coventry and then Sheffield United.
“Let’s be honest, he hasn’t looked back since. What a time to perhaps have your best season as a professional footballer.
“He has been outstanding and it doesn’t come as a surprise because you have seen with John as a young kid he was a talent – he’s definitely done that now and he’s thriving.”
What might have been…
In an alternate reality, young John Fleck got his big break at Ibrox, managed to force his way into the first team picture on a regular basis, and went on to become a massive name in Glasgow.
Of course, the liquidation at the beginning of last decade would have thrown a spanner in the works, but at the very least he might have earned his boyhood club a bit more than the big fat nothing Coventry City ended up landing him for.
The reality is though that sometimes players and clubs just aren’t on the same level at the same time, and that can lead to situations like this one where a great player was allowed to leave.
At the very least though, it is some consolation that Fleck is finally getting his crack at the big time.
He has been immense for the Blades this season, as his five Premier League goals and Whoscored rating of 6.97 would suggest, and if he were to earn a big money move to a club like Arsenal, it would be a fitting reward for his efforts.