Alan Hutton suggests Rangers youngster Lewis Mayo has been impressing Steven Gerrard and the coaching staff at Ibrox after Graeme Murty revealed he had been handed a promotion to first-team training.
The former Rangers full-back and boyhood fan at Ibrox, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the level of competition for a place in the defence demonstrates how much of an impact the young talent must have had to find himself training with the senior squad.
Speaking on the official Rangers podcast, Murty revealed that the 19-year-old centre-back had been part of the Light Blues’ first-team training and among the senior dressing room this season, moving up from the development squad.
Hutton says that the teenager must have made a big impact behind-the-scenes to earn his place among Gerrard’s squad at Ibrox and that it is a great thing to see youngsters being given the opportunity by the boss.
Hutton told Football Insider: “Let’s face it, he must be doing well. If that’s the stage he’s at at the moment, he’s obviously producing for his team because Rangers have got a lot of competition for those positions. They must see something.
“You need it (homegrown talent). I remember when I was coming through there were so many foreign players or if they needed someone they brought someone in.
“It was always: ‘Am I going to make it?’ so to see the young players coming through and getting a chance, not just at Rangers but all the clubs, it’s such a big thing to bring through the young talent and give them the opportunity.”
Mayo, who has come through the youth ranks at Ibrox, has never played for Rangers’ first-team with an unused substitute outing against St Joseph’s the closest he has come to his debut.
Gerrard has the likes of Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic and Filip Helander to call upon at centre-back this season, the trio having been rotated between the club’s league and cup games.