One of the very first players to sign for Rangers in the wake of Mark Warburton’s appointment as Rangers manager was versatile Englishman Jordan Gibson. Gibson, along with former-Birmingham City kid Tom Lang, both immediately joined with with the Development squad as they looked to make their impression on Academy head Craig Mulholland.
Speaking to Rangers’ offical website at the time, Mulholland said: “They now have an opportunity to develop as footballers and people within the high performance environment we are creating within the Academy.
“Jordan was a good spot by our Academy scout in the Midlands, who also identified Kane Hemmings from a similar background a number of years ago. He is quick, has a trick and fits the new position specific player profile we are developing with the manager for all Rangers players. In addition to his footballing attributes he is hungry, desperate to be here and keen to learn and that is critical to the culture within the Academy.
“Like all young players he has many areas of his game he needs to work on and he will get the patience and support of the Academy staff to see what he can become."
Lang was only given a year to prove himself and, after failing to make the grade at Auchenhowie, he moved on to Dumbarton last summer.
Gibson, however, remained at Auchenhowie as Graeme Murty was recruited to manage the U20s and the youngster has impressed in the games he has played in. Despite used from the bench more often than not (no-one has came off the bench more this season) Gibson’s versatility has seen him utilised in a variety of positions across the midfield and forward line this season.
With his deal up at the end of the season, the former Stoke & West Brom youngster will be hoping his performances in the Development League have been enough to convince the club to offer him new terms.
His former boss at Bromsgrove Andy Parr, who he played under before moving to Ibrox, believes he has the ability to go a long way in the game.
“He has got a bit of class about him and has got a good footballing brain, so I think he has got all the attributes to make a career in professional football and do very well,” he said.
With the likes of Billy Gilmour, Liam Burt and Zak Rudden ahead of him in the pecking order, the teenager faces a fight to make his mark at Ibrox in the long-term but, like in the semi final against Kilmarnock, he could very well make a massive short-term impact from the bench tonight at Hampden Park.