By Saikat Mandal

4th Nov, 2022 | 7:40am

Barry Ferguson tips Rangers talent Leon King to have 'massive' future at Ibrox

Barry Ferguson has shielded Leon King from a torrent of criticism after Rangers suffered a 3-1 defeat against Ajax in the final Champions League group game.

King was at fault for the opening goal, and he was heavily criticized. The young defender also could have done better for the second goal as well.

Writing his column for the Daily Record, the Gers legend turned popular football pundit has suggested that King will have a massive future at Rangers

“One thing that did disappoint me was the criticism young King took afterwards,” wrote Ferguson.

“Could he have done better at a couple of the goals? Yes. But did he do as well as any 18-year-old centre back thrust into that level of competition time and again over the campaign could have hoped to do? Definitely.

“This lad could have been learning his trade in the Lowland League with the Rangers B team this season. Instead, he has been thrown in against some of the best strikers in the world and he didn’t shirk from it.

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“Leon has a massive future at Rangers. The experience he has gained in an otherwise dismal campaign will be a great benefit to him and to the club.”

Spot on

Ferguson is absolutely spot-on with his assessment. It is easier to criticise someone but one needs to see the bigger picture and context.

King has been progressing at a tremendous rate, and this was supposed to be his breakthrough season. But he wasn’t supposed to face some of the top forwards in Europe for the entire game.

Ideally, Giovanni van Bronckhorst would have brought him for 10-15 minutes towards the end to give him some exposure in this premier competition.

Instead, he is now playing regularly both in the league and in Europe, as the squad has been ravaged by injuries. The situation is far from ideal for the young lad.

It’s a tough experience for him, and he will learn from these mistakes. He is a fantastic talent to have come out of the academy and he has got a bright future ahead of him.

The problem is King was paired with James Sands at the back, and the inexperienced pair really struggled in a big European game. There was no senior head to take the leadership baton at the back, and thus it’s really unfair to criticize the youngster for his mistakes against Ajax.

In other Rangers news, a “crazy situation” has emerged at Ibrox that’s led to this star player being “gone” from the club.