We’re delighted to welcome former Rangers manager Alex McLeish as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Alex McLeish has claimed that Steven Gerrard will be keeping a close eye on the next batch of Rangers rising stars.

Glenn Middleton has been the latest to catch the eye, scoring twice for the Colts in a recent victory over Clyde in the City of Glasgow Cup.

The 20-year-old has been linked with a January loan move on Monday, but McLeish admitted that there could still be chances with the first-team at Ibrox this season.

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Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “That depends on what Steven is seeing from Middleton.

Is he seeing a vast improvement? He was the new kid on the block last year, and he came and faded a wee bit, kids do that, they come up and they plateau, if they get above that plateau, then that’s when you know they’ve got a good chance of making the grade.

“Steven will be making assertions on that, and he will be concentrating on the nucleus of the guys that have done so well so far, but yes, if there’s a rainy day, these boys have to be ready.”

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Middleton’s only senior appearance this season came against Falkirk in the 4-0 win, although he was played at left-back by Gerrard.

The 20-year-old has plenty of experience in the Scottish Premiership too from the 18/19 season, where he featured for both the Bears and Hibernian.

The loan switch to Bradford didn’t work out massively last season, and Gerrard needs to decide whether another temporary exit is worth it, or whether or not it will waste his potential away from Ibrox.

This is one to watch in January.

In other Rangers news, Steven Gerrard confirms concern on double Bears injury blow

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