By Joe Ellis

4th Jul, 2022 | 9:40pm

Rangers announce Rory Wilson exit as he heads for Premier League club

Teenage striking sensation Rory Wilson has decided to leave Rangers once and for all in favour of a move to the Premier League.

The 16-year-old had an unbelievable 2021-22 campaign for the Light Blues’ youth sides, scoring 49 goals across all competitions including those who scored while representing Scotland at youth level too.

But he was yet to sign a professional deal at Ibrox and Rangers confirmed via their Twitter that he had left the club to join former Bears manager Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.

“Rory is a young player who we have watched develop from a very young boy into a young man,” Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland said. “He comes from a very strong family who support him exceptionally well and we wish him well on his journey.

“Although our preference was for Rory to continue his journey at Rangers, we also respect his decision.

“We can now see some exciting recruitment into the club with talented players domestically and cross-border choosing to join Rangers and we are pleased with our development in this area.”

Pressure

We may have made a number of signings for the academy recently with Cameron Cooper, Mason Munn, Bailey Rice, Keiron Willox and Zak Lovelace just a handful of the newcomers but this exit will hit hard for the club.

It takes a very special talent to score 49 goals in a season at any level so to do so when competing against some of the best young teams in the country is a simply remarkable achievement and those goals will be missed by the youth sides next season.

Not only that, but Giovanni van Bronckhorts can no longer get giddy with excitement at the prospect of Wilson one day progressing to the Rangers senior squad as that pleasure now resides with Ferrard at Villa Park.

That leaves a huge amount of pressure on someone like Tony Weston to find that next level of ability and prolificness to prove to the boss that there are still some very good young strikers at Auchenhowie that can do what Wilson did and more.

In other Rangers news, van Bronckhorst wants a striker for right now and has identified this youngster, who scored against Celtic last season, as one of his targets.