From fringes to international call-up: This Rangers ace is 2016 most improved player of the year
COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Football Insider names Rangers’ most improved player of 2016.
Barrie McKay’s career has steadily grown since Mark Warburton became the boss of Ibrox in 2015, and 2016 has been a particularly standout year for the 21-year-old.
The young attacker spent the season before Warburton took charge of Rangers with Championship rivals Raith Rovers, where he scored just two goals in 25 fixtures.
However, the former Brentford boss identified the Rangers academy graduate as a huge talent and immediately started the young attacker.
But, McKay himself did not start to shine properly until 2016 with just four goals in Warburton’s first six months in charge.
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The second half of the campaign brought much joy for McKay with five goals and a first international call-up to the senior Scotland national team.
He made his debut for Gordon Strachan’s team as an 84th minute substitute against France in June 2016 to bring the curtains down on a hugely successful season, where he also made the Championship team of the Year alongside four of his team-mates.
He has brought his impressive form into the Premiership campaign and has continued to be an ever-present for Warburton’s side.
This season has seen him turn provider and he has assisted his team-mates nine times, while scoring two goals himself from 24 encounters.
This calendar year has brought much joy for McKay as Rangers continue their rise up Scotland’s football pyramid after suffering administration and demotion in 2012.
Meanwhile, his next personal goal will be to earn a second call-up to Scotland’s national team.
In other Rangers news, here is who Football Insider selected as the Gers’ standout player of the year.