Over the last few months a number of the Academy players have been attracting praise for some eye-catching performances in the Development League but there’s been one of the Ibrox youngsters who has been largely forgotten but who could be one of the next group to make the breakthrough and become a regular part of Pedro Caixinha’s matchday squad; Northern Irish midfielder Jordan Thompson.
Thompson has spent most of the season on loan at Championship side Raith Rovers, where he also experienced a managerial change, as the Fifers look to avoid relegation and retain their position in Scotland’s second tier. The young midfielder has featured regularly for the Stark’s Park side, making 25 starts, and has done well in his stint in Kirkcaldy.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Thompson revealed he is now looking to take the next step and earn a place in Pedro Caixinha’s squad as the Portuguese manager makes preparations for his first full season in charge, he said: "My aim for when I went on loan was to get games and get experience in the Championship. It's been a positive one and I think I've done quite well. I've got 28 or 29 games under my belt, so it's went well so far,"
"I'll be going back (to Rangers) on a Wednesday for the last few weeks of the season just to be training with them and so the manager gets to see me before we break up for the end of the season. I'll go back and start pre-season and hopefully get into the manager's good books and push on."
When Thompson joined Rangers in the summer of 2015 after four years at Manchester United it was hoped, by supporters, that he could make an immediate impact under then-manager Mark Warburton. Despite a handful of appearances in blue, Thompson had a short stint on loan at Airdrieonians at the tail end of last season before he moved to Raith in August.
The 20-year-old admitted it was hard to leave Old Trafford but once Rangers, who he grew up supporting in Belfast, he had an easy decision, saying: "It was tough. It was more being with all your mates, We went to school together, trained together everyday, and I seen them more than I seen my family, so in that way it was tough leaving the boys," Thompson told Belfast Live.
"I left and went on a few trials and played at a few places. When I left, my head wasn't in the right place and I was just going through the motions. When the Rangers move came through and they came over to talk to me and my dad, I knew it was the right move straight away."
"Whenever I went over to United I was quite young, and thinking back on it, it didn't really sink in until I had left.
"Playing for them for four years was a dream come true, and then to come up to Rangers where I'm from. Growing up as a Rangers fan, it's the best move I could have made, so it was brilliant."
There’s more from Thompson in the Belfast Live interview as he speaks about former-teammate Marcus Rashford and his ambitions to play for Northern Ireland.