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David Weir: Rangers is the best place for this defender to improve

Former Rangers captain David Weir believes defender David Bates should sign a new contract at Ibrox as the Gers are the “best place” for the defender.

Weir was number two at Ibrox when Bates initially joined the club on loan in 2016 as part of a deal that saw Jordan Thompson head in the other direction.

Bates’ current deal expires at the end of the season, with talks ongoing over an extension, and Weir thinks the former Raith Rovers youngster should stay where he is and continue his development at Ibrox after doing the “hard bit” and getting into the first-team.

“Rangers are the best place for him at this stage in his career,” Weir said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“He’s young, he’s getting better, he’s a 
Rangers fan.

“He’s done the hard bit by already making a mark.”

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The Kirkcaldy-born defender has started the Gers’ last ten games after coming into the side to replace the injured Bruno Alves and has made himself a mainstay in Graeme Murty’s side – even after Alves’ return from inury.

The 21-year-old has made 16 appearances this season for the Light Blues and impressed fans and pundits alike with his performances.

Bates has even been tipped for a place in the Scotland squad in recent weeks after the appointment of Alex McLeish as national team boss.

Football Insider verdict:

Few would argue Bates would be best served signing an extension at Ibrox and staying with his boyhood heroes after making the breakthrough into the first-team. The defender is never going to be in contention for the Ballon d’Or but is a solid defender who rarely gets beaten and keeps it simple at the back. The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Sunderland but that would be a huge step backwards for Bates. The defender deserves all the credit in the world though for forcing his way into the first-team and staying there once Bruno Alves returned from injury.

In other Rangers news, the club are firmly in the running to sign a goal machine from north-west English high flyers.

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