Rangers 21-year-old centre-back has sent a Twitter message to Rangers fans after he left Ibrox to join up with new club Hamburg.
Bates, who stands a towering 6ft 3, shocked Rangers fans when he signed a four-year deal with the Bundesliga club, who were then relegated from Germany’s top tier in chaotic scenes on the final day of the season.
It is the first time that Hamburg have dropped out of the Bundesliga since it was established in 1963.
Bates thanked everyone at Rangers and the fans, and while he admitted that last season didn’t turn out the way they had hoped, he wished the club all the best for the future.
Football Insider verdict:
A classy message from Bates and Rangers fans will wish him all the best after a move that he just couldn’t turn down. The irony is that he signed for a Bundesliga club and hooks up with a club still in shock after suffering relegation for the first time from the top tier. Bates, who signed from Raith in January 2017 after an initial loan spell, only made 28 Rangers appearances, 20 this season across all competitions. He came back from injury to play the last three league games of the season, which resulted in two draws and a win, enough to secure European competition and third place in the league. The final game of the season was the crazy 5-5 draw with Hibs and that will have told Steven Gerrard everything he needs to know about the area of the side he needs to improve. The defence will be even weaker now that Bates has gone and that has to be priority number one for the new manager. Would Gerrard’s arrival have convinced Bates to stay? Unlikely, given the money involved, but we’ll never know now.
In other Rangers news, Rangers enforcer Bruno Alves reveals plans for next season as he prepares for World Cup