Loan Rangers #1 - McCrories & Murphy

By William Boyd
 February 24, 2020

With a number of players currently out on loan up and down the length and breadth of Britain its time to take a look at just how well they're doing.

We currently have 8 first team squad members out on loan, Jason Holt, Greg Docherty and Robby McCrorie all competing in the Scottish top flight. Something I’m personally a fan of is having our own players getting the opportunity to play at this level especially as it then becomes far easier to judge if they could have a chance to cut it in our famous jersey.

Ross McCrorie, Jak Alnwick, Jordan Rossiter and Jamie Murphy are all in England's third tier of football meanwhile Glenn Middleton is at League 2 side Bradford.

Let's start with me letting you know, not all of these players will play for Rangers again, In fact it's more than likely most of them have already played their last games for Rangers.

So I’m going to be focusing on the guys I think could play some part in our campaign next season and let you guys debate in the comments via twitter.

Robby McCrorie

Robby McCrorie between the sticks for QoTS.

Let's start with our most highly rated youth academy graduate Robby McCrorie.

Now something that will most likely be asked at future Rangers quiz nights. “Which brother made their competitive debut as goalkeeper first, Ross or Robby?”...

Well Ross actually beat his brother when he pulled on the gloves against Hibs last year when McGregor was given his marching orders and all our substitutions were made. Luckily for us he only had to see out around 5 minutes between the sticks.

Anyway, Robby started the season down in Dumfries with Queen of the South where he started every single game for Allan Johnstons men. Despite the clubs poor league position Robby was getting highly spoken of.

In 19 league games the goalkeeper managed to keep 5 important clean sheets. He also managed to get the fans’ player of the month award three times in a row.

Robby had actually made an impressive 24 matches in total getting good solid reviews in almost all of his appearances BUT when Premiership side Livingston came calling Rangers thought it was better for his development to start playing against the highest calibre of player in Scotland.

Gary Holt has selected the highly rated GK at every available opportunity since he joined in January. Just on Saturday McCrorie made a great stop from a penalty at Easter Road denying a certain Mr. Scott Allan from 12 yards. At present McCrorie is averaging a clean sheet every 3 games which is rather impressive at the top level.

I firmly believe the 21 year old will be a future Rangers and Scotland player. For that I have no doubts but the summer recruitment in terms of signing a goalkeeper will give us a better indication as McCrorie could take the mantel from experienced McGregor

With Allan McGregor signing a deal to take his contract until the year 2021, Robby could learn from Allan. Who better to learn from as well. A vastly experienced professional who made a few mistakes in his career in terms of the national side. It could be interesting to see if he could even force McGregor onto the bench as Rangers No.2.

Jamie Murphy

Jamie Murphy on form for Burton Albion.

Next one I think will have a future next season will be Jamie Murphy.

Murphy has been in unbelievable form since joining Nigel Clough's men in January. He's started the last 7 of Burton's League 1 matches scoring 5 goals and bagging 1 assist. A busy start for the on-loan Ranger! After yesterday's match winner against Southend murphy is avereraging a goal every 118. Not bad for someone who has been playing between Left wing and the main central attacker in the side.

If Murphy maintains that sort of form then Burton will be in with an outside chance of getting into the League 1 play-off positions. That is if they start turning those draws into wins as a team.

I managed to exchange some emails with the Matchday voice at the Pirelli Stadiums Ian Hawkins who has had nothing but high praise to pass over where Jamie is concerned.

“Any Burton fan who followed Nigel Clough’s managerial career after he left Burton before will know just how highly he rated Jamie Murphy during his time at Sheffield United. I always get excited about new signings for the club and when I heard that Nigel had expressed an interest in bringing him in for the rest of the season there was something more than that excitement or anticipation with a new signing.

Jamie is too good for League One. No doubt about it. We as supporters know that. Nigel knows that. But there is mutual respect and admiration for one another.

Jamie knows that Nigel got the best out of him at Sheffield United and Nigel knows he is one of those players that you just give the ball to as much as you can and let him do his thing. No other manager would have been able to attract him back to League One. Jamie knows that Nigel is the manager to give him the platform to get back on track after a period out with injury.

As Burton fans we know that we just have to enjoy Jamie while we have him. Nigel has a habit of pulling a ‘big’ signing out of the bag each season.

Jamie is this season’s big signing and he hasn’t disappointed. Despite his lack of football over the last eighteen months or so since his injury he has got up to speed very quickly. Five goals in seven games says it all about the impact that he has had.

By and large Albion have played a 4-3-3 formation this season and Jamie has slotted in on the left-hand side of the front three allowing him to cut inside onto that lethal right foot of his.

Three of his goals have come from being able to cut inside the area into the left channel and score from very similar positions. One across the keeper into the far corner. One beating the keeper at his near post and the other flat footing the keeper and slotting it right next to him almost into the centre of the goal.

Every time you always felt he was certain to score. He has also played in a front two in a 4-4-2, scoring a very good header away at AFC Wimbledon and this weekend playing up front in a 3-5-2 formation at Southend, again confidently slotting home from inside the box. Again, he never looked like missing once in on goal.

Albion doesn't generally have an official Man Of The Match Award unless there is a designated sponsor for it on the day but he would be a leading contender for the award in a number of his appearances so far.

There is a regular goal of the month award and I suspect he will be a leading contender for the January/February award.”

My thanks go to @ChesneyBH for his thoughts on Jamie Murphy.

Ross McCrorie

Ross McCrorie bossing the midfield for Pompey.

Now finally Ross McCrorie appeared on the scene under Pedro Caixhina. The less said about that guy, the better!

Ross started out at CB but after a few games he quickly became a powerful energetic defensive midfielder playing a major part in a victory over Aberdeen where Interim manager Murty had him at the base of the diamond midfield.

Despite making 28 first team appearances since the arrival of Steven Gerrard, He was allowed to leave in the summer of 2019 to go on loan to Portsmouth.

Going between a number of different positions Ross has been in and out of the Portsmouth first team, mainly being used as a Right back. However, a recurrence of a hamstring injury has set Ross back a little and has only featured in 18 games and getting 3 assists.

Ross’ comeback came against Shrewsbury getting the last 32 minutes of action and getting an assist when the match was still goalless. McCrorie was only on the park for 6 minutes when he did very well to beat his man and deliver a superb ball into the box to put Portsmouth 1 up to the good. Portsmouth won this game 2-0 and remain in the hunt for promotion.

I believe like his twin brother, Robby. Ross will be a regular squad member for the years to come and be the first set of twins to pull on the famous jersey since Ronald and Frank DeBoer.

Gerrard sang high praise of Ross by saying he would be a future Rangers captain.Some seriously strong words from a man who led Liverpool to one of the most dramatic European triumphs in living memory, when Liverpool won the Champions League in Istanbul.

The likes of Jason Holt, Greg Docherty, Jordan Rossiter, Jak Alnwick and Glenn Middleton all have a long way to go before I would like to see them near the Rangers first team. More than likely these guys will be leaving in the summer.

Written by @BlackBeatle1972

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