By Joe Ellis

23rd Jun, 2022 | 9:45pm

Rangers impressed by Leon King pre-season commitment, bigger role expected

Rangers teenager Leon King has impressed folk high up at Ibrox with his commitment in pre-season, according to Football Scotland.

The 18-year-old started to break into Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side towards the end of the 2021-22 campaign as the Dutchman began to rest and rotate his side due to their epic run to the Europa League final.

King is determined to make himself a key part of the Rangers squad for the 2022-23 campaign and has returned from his holiday early to begin training.

He and fellow Gers youngster Josh McPake are doing everything they can to impress the hierarchy at Ibrox and it appears to be working as both are expected to play a part in the senior team’s pre-season games.

King has helped his cause even more by rejecting an approach from Manchester United and Newcastle United to stay in Glasgow and try to make the most of his time with the club [Football Scotland].

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With the emergence of King over the past year or so, we may have caused ourselves more problems than solutions with the signing of John Souttar from Hearts on a pre-contract agreement.

We have already secured the future of Connor Goldson for the next four years and you might expect Souttar to slot in alongside the Englishman with Calvin Bassey at left-back if he stays at the club.

But the Nigerian is another who can do a job at centre-half and it was there he produced his extraordinary defensive display in Seville which brought his ability to the world’s attention.

The boss could be tempted to sign a replacement if he leaves this summer but he should be putting his faith in the club’s youngsters like King to step up and cover for him just as well as any new signing would.

If we keep signing replacements for players we sell, then these youngsters who have so much ability will never get a game for us and soon enough they will come back to either score against us or deny us a win which could prove costly in that season’s title race.

In other Rangers news, we could make a third approach to sign this enormous central midfielder after two failed attempts in the past.