'Someone tipped me the wink, but I'm not going to say who' - Rangers' chief on winning the race for Glenn Middleton
PUBLISHED: 10:11 04 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:11 04 February 2018
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Former Norwich City academy coach and Rangers' boss Graeme Murty admits he was 'shocked' the Canaries were prepared to let young wide player Glenn Middleton leave on deadline day.
Middleton’s exit, to the club he supported as a boy, was the only piece of business in or out of Carrow Road in the final hours of last month’s transfer window.
Murty has already recruited Russell Martin in a loan deal until the end of the season and knew all about Middleton’s pedigree from his time at Colney.
“Glenn’s a really exciting player and I’ve known him for a long time. I was really surprised when I heard that he was able to leave Norwich. I was shocked to be honest,” Murty told the Daily Reccord.
“I got straight on the phone to Craig Mulholland (Rangers’ academy boss) and we made it happen.
“He’s desperate to be here, he’s a passionate Rangers fan and he ticks lots of boxes.
“He’s a pacy, left-footed player who can beat people and finish.
“The platform is now here for him to go and accelerate. I’ve said to all of the young players that if they’re good enough they can push into the first team and see what it’s like to be a Rangers player.
“Glenn trained with the first team on Thursday. Physically, he’s very adept but he needs to get used to his surroundings and how we play.
“If he’s ready I certainly won’t shy away from it because I want young players who are hungry and desperate to do well.
“I’ve known Glenn for four years now and I coached him as a schoolboy at Norwich.
“We have to recognise that he’s still a young man and not place any burdens on his shoulders. We want to release him to be great every day.
“If we do that, he can push on at Rangers and reach the next level, which is getting into the first team.”
MORE: Have your say on our Pinkun forum
Daniel Farke, speaking on Friday, made it clear Middleton would struggle to make a first team breakthrough in the near future after bringing in the likes of Marley Watkins and Onel Hernandez to compete with Josh Murphy since his arrival.
“There might have been other interest in Glenn but I wasn’t interested in hearing that,” said Murty.
“Someone tipped me the wink that he was available but I’m not going to say who.
“You either want to come to Rangers or you don’t. We offered him the opportunity and he didn’t think twice.
“We’re a massive club and Glenn knows that. We’re live on TV every other week. People know that if you’re playing here you’ll be seen across the globe.
“He has the potential to do that and he’s made a big statement coming here.
“He wasn’t feeling like he could progress at Norwich in the way he can here.
“He has a chance to get in our first team but that’s conditional on him being excellent for our U20s in his mentality and professionalism.
“We have no worries with Glenn on that score but he needs to accelerate now because we aren’t going to wait.”