Former Ranger captain Lee McCulloch has admitted it was a “big surprise” to see David Bates sign for German giants Hamburg.
The Bundesliga side confirmed the 21-year-old’s pre-contract signing on Thursday on a four-year deal.
McCulloch thinks the Light Blues should have kept the former Raith Rovers defender and signed him up on an extended contract.
“It’s a big surprise that he’s been allowed to go, especially when he started the last Old Firm game and probably playing every week when he’s not injured,” McCulloch told BBC Sportsound, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“It’s a strange one for me.
“I just don’t think it looks good for Rangers. A 21-year-old going to Hamburg?
“For me, it doesn’t look good. They should be keeping him.”
Bates has made 17 appearances this season for the Gers but is currently sidelined with an ankle injury sustained in last month’s 3-2 Old Firm defeat.
The defender joined the Light Blues from Raith Rovers in August 2016 – initially on loan – and has made 25 appearances in total for the Ibrox giants.
Bates could be one of a host of defenders on their way out of Ibrox this summer with Russell Martin, Fabio Cardoso, Bruno Alves and Lee Hodson all likely to be moved on at the end of the season.
Football Insider verdict:
The whole move seems a bit odd but losing Bates isn’t something Rangers should be losing much sleep over. The 21-year-old isn’t as good as Ross McCrorie and with the Light Blues looking at another overhaul of the playing squad in the summer, Bates may have found himself surplus to requirements anyway. Although Bates has impressed since coming into the side at the start of the year, the Gers simply need better if they are to win the Scottish title back from Celtic.
In other Rangers news, Gers fans were blown away by this winger’s performance in the 4-0 win over Breidablik.