There's nothing those close to Rangers love to see more than young players, who feel what the club means to the depths of their toes, establish a place in the first team.

For a long time it has seemed Robby McCrorie might just end up as one of those who made the breakthrough.

The pathway for the 24-year-old seemed written. A new contract would be signed. Allan McGregor would depart Ibrox a Scottish Cup winner, bowing out aged 40 with a legacy cemented. Jon McLaughlin and McCrorie would be left to fight it out for the no.1 jersey. And while the 34-year-old veteran would likely win the initial battle, the heir apparent would not be in doubt.

This narrative seems long dead, killed after McGregor decided to sign a new, one-year deal. That was a move driven by Giovanni van Bronckhorst who loves to have experience in his dressing room and was keen to keep the goalkeeper's big personality around for another multi-pronged tilt at glory this season.

But every action has a reaction. The Glasgow Times reported today that McCrorie will not be signing a new deal and looking for a move away this summer. This was always likely to be the reaction following a McGregor extension. Patient young men can only remain waiting in the wings for so long.


Reports linking the youngster with Manchester United seem, and I will be charitable here, unlikely to come to fruition but you can't imagine there won't be interested parties north and south of the border in a player whose potential is clear if it is allowed to bloom.

After a succession of loans at the likes of Berwick, Morton and Queen of the South, he developed well in 20/21 at Livingston where he duelled for the gloves with the excellent Max Strijek. While he only played 23 games, the stress of the fight with another good shot-stopper did him the world of good.

Returning to Ibrox, he was terrific last season when COVID call-offs meant he was pitched in against Alashkert in a pivotal Europa League qualifier and against Celtic. He let nobody down and brought stability and calm to the defence in front of him.

Two solid displays and, crucially, clean sheets later he was faced with a bitter dose of realpolitik and found himself jettisoned out of the team as quickly as he was brought in.

With two top-class and vastly experienced professionals in front of him, you can understand why his patience might have snapped. He's waited and waited but 24 is more than old enough to justifiably want to settle somewhere and begin to build a portfolio of elite performance. 

Even when you are steeped in a club, you can't be expected to wait forever.

Of course, with a year left on his deal, Rangers may encourage their young charge not to be hasty and revise the plan for his future. But just as the club have found with the announcement of a new deal for McGregor, this may end up being something of another tough goalkeeping situation sell. 

This piece is an extract from today’s Rangers Insider newsletter, which is emailed out at 4pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Rangers Review team.

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