Rangers could hand chances to a few youth prospects between now and the end of the season.
Steven Gerrard’s men have nothing to play for after falling 11 points behind league leaders Celtic with five games to go.
It would take a miracle for the Ibrox side to close that gap in those games and it’s more likely their rivals will win both of their next two matches to secure their eighth title in a row.
For Rangers, it’s all about securing second – which they have an eight-point lead in – and finishing the season strongly.
But it could also be about Gerrard rewarding some young players with game time.
There are a number who have impressed in the youth set up this term – and here are four we think could make an impact for the first team before the season is out:
Mebude is well known to Rangers fans for his performances in the youth team and the Scotland Under 17 side. The 17-year-old striker has been in and around the first team squad under Gerrard so far and the Rangers manager has already spoken positively in public about him. With Alfredo Morelos suspended for another two games, this could be a good opportunity for Mebude to get an appearance off the bench behind Jermain Defoe.
Kelly is another who some fans are already aware of due to his involvement in first team training. He played in the January friendly with HJK Helsinki at Ibrox and did well by all accounts. His stunning free-kick winner in Rangers’ win over Hibs earlier this week showed the sort of quality he possesses. Midfield is a stacked area of the pitch for Rangers, but Kelly has plenty of time on his side as an 18-year-old midfielder with a lot of talent.
Like Kelly, Palmer is another midfield prospect for Gerrard and will believe he’s good enough to make an impact at first team level. Despite being just 18, Palmer regularly captains Rangers’ reserve team and has been a mainstay of their team over the last year. He also made an appearance in the HJK Helsinki friendly in January. A Scotland youth international, Palmer is undoubtedly one of Rangers’ top prospects and a first team game might show what stage he’s at in his development.
Young-Coombes made headlines after swapping Chelsea for Rangers in February. Since then, he’s made more after inspiring the club’s Under 17 team to victory at the Alkass International Cup. At 16, Young-Coombes has a lot more time than the other players on this list, but he’s made such a big impact that we wouldn’t be surprised if Gerrard was to hand him some game time.