By Joe Ellis

13th Apr, 2022 | 3:14pm

Andy Halliday loves what he sees from 'brilliant' Rangers starlet Leon King

Giovanni van Bronckhorst chose to give Rangers starlet Leon King a chance off the bench against St Mirren on Sunday when Filip Helander limped off injured.

The 18-year-old replaced the Swedish international just before halftime and slotted alongside Connor Goldson seamlessly as the Light Blues ran out 4-0 winners in Paisley.

With Helander now out for the season, van Bronckhorst may be forced to call upon the teenager more often and Andy Halliday wants to see that happen.

“I would love to see [Alex] Lowry, [Leon] King, young boys that deserve to get a chance,” Halliday said on Open Goal’s YouTube channel. “I would love to see them get game time between now and the end of the season.

“He was brilliant [against St Mirren]. I told you when I left Rangers when you asked who I thought the next player was.

“Nathan Patterson was one, I always felt Leon would be the one to step up. He has a 30-year-old’s brain which I think is massive for younger kids.

“He is just so mature in the way he plays, he’s not scared to get on the ball. He’s not the biggest but he’s very, very intelligent.

“If he keeps maintaining the progress he’s made then I think he’ll have a future at Rangers.”

Starter next season

There is no denying that King looked right at home against St Mirren on Sunday and Goldson’s presence alongside will have helped enormously with any nerves he was feeling.

But there is no way he should be starting tomorrow’s Europa League quarter-final second-leg against Braga nor the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden Park on Sunday.

He is still a teenager with little first-team experience and those kinds of games aren’t the ones for bedding in young talent.

Have him on the bench just in case on both occasions but don’t consider him starting such important games until next season rolls around.

King does have the ability and temperament to be a starting centre-half for van Bronckhorst next season alongside Goldson, Helander or Leon Balogun but only if we are patient with him.

Give him minutes here and there against the weaker opposition in the Scottish Premiership then watch him flourish as the main man next season.

In other Rangers news, Club 1872 have bought even more shares n the football club after a big revelation yesterday.