Rangers may have next £9m talent in Devine

Glasgow Rangers’ academy is full of youngsters who have the potential to become first-team regulars at Ibrox over the coming years.

The likes of Zak Lovelace, Ross McCausland and Robbie Ure have shown plenty of promise in the B team, and it seems only a matter of time before Michael Beale starts integrating youth into his senior squad.

It certainly makes a change, as before Steven Gerrard took over in 2018, the number of Rangers youth prospects who successfully made the leap from the academy to senior football was few and far between over the previous 20 years.

Of those who did make the cut, Allan McGregor, Barry Ferguson and Alan Hutton are three who instantly spring to mind, the latter enjoyed a sparkling early career with the Light Blues.

The right-back broke into the first-team during the 2003/04 campaign and was a mainstay on the right-hand side of defence over the next three-and-a-half seasons, although a broken leg kept him out of the last few months of the 2004/05 title-winning campaign.

Following a stellar first half of the season under Walter Smith in 2007/08, Tottenham Hotspur signed the defender for £9m, which was a club-record sale by the Ibrox giants.

Fast forward to 2023, and Adam Devine is a right-back who has been making waves at the club recently, having made his debut under Giovanni van Bronckhorst last season, and he could well be the club’s next £9m talent.

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The 19-year-old made his debut against Dundee United last May before getting his first start against Hearts a week later as a clutch of academy players were given a runout.

With Borna Barisic recovering from his World Cup exploits for Croatia, Devine was given an opportunity at left-back just before Christmas and performed admirably in what was an unfamiliar position for him.

He is certainly embodying the same attacking qualities as Hutton in the full-back role, evidenced by the fact that he has made 1.2 key passes per game, created two big chances and completed 100% of his attempted dribbles.

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Hutton mixed defensive acumen with the ability to bomb forward whenever possible, averaging 0.7 key passes, 0.7 crosses and 0.6 dribbles per game in his playing career (as per WhoScored), and Devine looks like he could be in a similar mould to the former Rangers star.

Over his five Premiership appearances this term, the 18-year-old has made 0.8 tackles per game, won 55% of his duels and been dribbled past just 0.2 times per match, showing a remarkable defensive maturity for someone with such limited experience at senior level.

Journalist Craig Vickers dubbed him “powerful” last year, and while Devine still has a lot of developing to do and many lessons to learn, he could well be the next big-money right-back to come out of Ibrox, following in the footsteps of Hutton and Nathan Patterson before him.