GARY McALLISTER has welcomed Jamie Barjonas’ new deal and believes it’s richly deserved for the hard work the midfielder has put in of late.
Barjonas has impressed McAllister, boss Steven Gerrard and the Ibrox coaching staff sufficiently enough to be handed a new contract tying him to Gers until the summer of 2021.
McAllister explained: “When we arrived here, we looked at him and I don’t think it’s ever been in doubt he is a technical footballer who can play football.
“His ability to get around the pitch is something we questioned – we put a programme to him and he has gone away, been diligent and come back a player in a different body.
“He now has a body capable of playing at this level, and he trains with us every day.
“He is unfortunate that one of the strongest parts of our squad here at Rangers is the middle of the park.
“But I think there will be moments where we might need to call upon him and we have no doubts he can compete at this level as he has given himself a better chance – he has the body to do it.
“So it is nice to see him being rewarded and he has a part to play.”
McAllister also wants to see the new contract handed to Barjonas inspire the rest of the Academy players, adding: “I think clubs like Rangers are always looking to bring in a so-called ‘one of their own.’ It is always nice to see someone who has come up through the ranks here make it to the first-team side.
“It must give a big boost to everyone in the Academy side here. We all talk about pathways – it is the buzz word – but we want Rangers players who have come right up through the ranks to get in the first-team.
“The fans need that and the fans like to see players who make that journey from eight or nine years-old right through to playing in the first team, so good on him.”