Rangers academy product Allan McGregor enjoyed a fantastic night at Ibrox on Thursday as he saved a penalty in the club’s 3-0 win in the Europa League.
The veteran shot-stopper brilliantly kept out a spot kick in the first half to prevent the away side from mounting a comeback, as goals from James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos and Leon Balogun secured the win.
McGregor started his career by coming through the academy in Glasgow and spent a number of years in Turkey and England before returning to Ibrox in 2018 to be the club’s number one again.
However, the Gers have not always got it right with their young prospects, and this is highlighted in the case of central midfielder John Fleck.
The Scotland international came up through the ranks at Ibrox and made 56 first team appearances for the club before being released in 2012 as he joined English side Coventry on a free transfer, with Transfermarkt valuing him at £450k at the time of the move.
Would Fleck start for Rangers now?
Fleck then moved on to Sheffield United and that is where he has made his name in football. He has made 235 competitive appearances for the Blades so far, registering 14 goals and 46 assists and racking up 61 Premier League outings. This shows that he has been a crucial part of their team over the years and was regularly selected to play in their most recent two-year stint in the English top flight.
At the time of writing (11/03/22), Transfermarkt value him at £3.6m, and he was valued at £7.2m in October 2020 whilst playing in the Premier League. This illustrates how far he has come since leaving Rangers, with the midfielder earning plenty of praise along the way.
Speaking to FourFourTwo upon the midfielder’s maiden call-up to the Scotland squad, his former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder previously said: “He (Fleck) thoroughly deserves it as he’s been incredible. We brought him in on a free transfer from Coventry when we were in League One and he’s embraced every level since and moved forward.
“He got injured, which was disappointing for him and us, but got back in the team and has kicked on. Being called up again is a great reward for him and hopefully he can do himself justice when he goes up the road.”
In the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, the £23k-per-week Scotsman averaged an impressive SofaScore rating of 7.01 for the Blades. He produced five goals and two assists from central midfield as he made two tackles and interceptions per game, showing that he has the quality to provide top-quality performances at an elite level.
Along with his soaring value since leaving Ibrox, this suggests that the Gers made a huge blunder by allowing Fleck to leave for nothing. He may have been able to fulfill his potential at Ibrox if he were allowed more time to find his feet at senior level and Rangers fans may now be wondering – what if?
AND in other news, 71% duels lost: £21k-p/w Rangers passenger was carried by his team-mates on Thursday…