FRESH from signing a three-year deal with Rangers this afternoon, Brandon Barker reckons he’s in the perfect place to reach his full potential as a professional footballer.
The 22 year-old arrives from Manchester City, where he came through the youth ranks, while he has past experience of Scottish football having had a loan spell with Hibernian in season 2017-18.
Now he joins Gers, and the opportunity to work with both Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister at one of football’s biggest names is something he is relishing.
Speaking to RangersTV, he explained: “The name speaks for itself. The people who are working here have a massive influence on that and I am here to develop myself and there is no better place to get better than Rangers Football Club.
“They are two of the pinnacle names in football, and what better place to learn your trade? Those guys have done it and won things in the game every kid dreams of winning, so it is a brilliant opportunity and I am really looking forward to it.”
That spell at Easter Road, of course, has given Barker an idea of what to expect from Scottish football, and the game here has impressed him.
He continued: “Everyone seems to be down on Scottish football, but me experiencing it before, I can certainly say that isn’t the case. It’s a really competitive league which is getting better and better each year.
“It has prepared me well and I know what to expect so I just want to give my input in games now and help the team.”
As well as Hibs, Barker has also had loan spells with Rotherham, NAC Breda and Preston North End, and from each club, he feels he has gained plenty of game knowledge.
He said: “They were never going to be my club at the end of it, so you have to take as much as you can from them.
“Sometimes there were difficult moments and sometimes there were some brilliant moments. I just took everything in and it has made me the man I am today. Now this is my new home and I am delighted.”
Coming through the renowned Manchester City Academy, where he was EDS Player of the Year in 2014, he certainly isn’t lacking in skill, and he added: “My technical aspects have come on obviously learning from those coaches as they are some of the best coaches in the world.
“It was brilliant and I have had a good 16 years there. It is a long time and I am grateful for everything they have done for me.”
He also discussed what he feels he can bring to the Rangers side, explaining: “In the attacking third, I’m quite direct. I like to go into one v one situations and I can give the team breathers when we are struggling and get us up the pitch.
“I am quite composed on the ball too so I’ll look to bring that into the game. I’ll also look to try and score goals and help the team.”
Now, Barker can’t wait to make his Ibrox bow for the first time in a blue jersey and said: “It’s crazy! I played there when I played for Hibs and the atmosphere is overwhelming and gives you shivers every single week.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play in front of that many people, so I am delighted and I can’t wait to get the opportunity to do that.”