Alan Hutton has backed Rangers youngster Josh McPake to thrive during his prospective loan spell at Harrogate Town this season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Gers defender suggested the 19-year-old would build character and experience playing in a “tough league” in England.
As revealed by Football Insider earlier this week, the teenage winger has already undergone a medical with the League Two outfit after agreeing terms of a temporary move south of the border.
McPake has spent the first half of the season out on loan with Scottish Championship outfit Greenock Morton, where he played 10 times across all competitions.
Hutton has suggested England’s fourth tier would be a “step up” for the Ibrox starlet and that he disagrees with anyone who thinks loan moves are detrimental to a youngster’s development.
Asked if he thought a move to League Two would be good for the teenager, Hutton told Football Insider: “Yeah, I think he’s obviously in the thoughts of Gerrard and they’re looking for him to get more of a test.
“I think it’s always good for a young person to go and experience different leagues, different levels, I think it always adds to their character as well.
“Going into the unknown, I mean, that can really help you. Some people are maybe against it but I think it’s good, I think all these definite experiences really build the character of the player and I think he’ll be better for it.
“He will come back a man, if you want, playing in a tough league week in, week out. I think it’s a step up, it’s a good opportunity for him and it looks like Rangers, they keep an eye on all their talent that’s out playing, wherever it might be. I think it can only help him in the long run.”
McPake has played just once for Rangers’ senior side to date, having made his debut as a substitute in the Europa League qualifier against St Joseph’s in 2019.