THE promising youngsters who the Old Firm clubs have plundered from their Scottish rivals in recent seasons, and there have been a fair few of them, haven't always proved capable of coping with either the step up in standard or scrutiny they find themselves under.

Ryan Christie may have eventually, after spending a season-and-a-half on loan at Aberdeen, come good at Parkhead this season and become an invaluable player for both Celtic and Scotland.

Yet, many others who have moved to the East End or Govan with high hopes of doing well in the last few years have struggled to justify the faith shown in them, not to mention the money spent to secure their services, and have moved on after enduring difficult spells on the fringes.

Scott Allan, Nicky Clark, Jack Hendry, Jason Holt, Nicky Law, Michael O’Halloran and Gary Mackay-Steven, who all excelled elsewhere in this country, have all been unable to hold down a regular place.


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Will one-time Hamilton playmaker Greg Docherty return from his loan spell at English League One club Shrewsbury Town this summer and establish himself at Rangers next term? Can Lewis Morgan use the experience he has gained in the third tier down south with Sunderland and shine with Celtic like he did at St Mirren? Nothing is certain.

So there are, given the experiences of some who have gone before him, no guarantees that Jake Hastie, the gifted Motherwell winger who is poised to sign a pre-contract agreement with Rangers and move from Fir Park to Ibrox this summer, will flourish.

Hastie, who had only made three substitute’s appearances for the Fir Park club before the 2018/19 season got underway, has experienced a spectacular rise to prominence in the past nine months.

The 20-year-old has netted no fewer than seven goals in just 14 run-outs for Stephen Robinson’s men, including stunning long-range strikes against Hearts and St Mirren, since January.

However, Jim Goodwin, the Alloa manager who had the midfielder on loan at Recreation Park during the first half of the season and helped him to finally realise his enormous potential, is convinced that he will go from strength to strength next season.

In fact, he believes the player can force his way into the Scotland side.

“Jake is only 20 at the end of the day,” said Goodwin. “He still has a lot of hard work ahead of him. He can develop even more and get even better. But joining Rangers is a very difficult one for Jake to turn down because they are obviously a massive club.

“As well as he’s done at Motherwell, and I know he has loved his time at Motherwell and is very grateful to them for the opportunity that they have given him, when clubs like Celtic and Rangers come calling it is really hard for young players to knock it back.


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“But he will go there with confidence in himself that he can break into the team. That has to be his mindset from day one. When he goes in there for the first day of pre-season training he has to be confidence in his own ability and believe he is going to play regular first team football there.

“He will definitely have two good guys to learn from in Gary McAllister and Steven Gerrard. I think training and playing with better players will only bring more out in him. No disrespect to Motherwell, but Rangers have a very good squad. Training day in, day out, with them and learning from Gary and Steven will only be of benefit to Jake’s development going forward.

“He isn’t the finished article, of course he’s not. He’s 20 and he has got great attributes just now. He has got all the qualities you could want in a young player. But I believe he will get even better at Rangers.”


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Hastie only made his debut for the Scotland Under-21 side last month when he played against Sweden and then Mexico in friendly matches in Marbella.

But Goodwin, the former Stockport County, Scunthorpe United, Huddersfield Town and St Mirren player who started his career at Celtic, feels the Law-born footballer can force his way into the senior set-up during their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

“I don’t think Rangers or Jake will be looking at him going out on loan,” he said. “Jake will be going there looking to get into the first team and play regularly, simple as that. There’s no point going to Rangers and thinking ‘I am going to go out on loan again’.

“I don’t believe that will be the case. I hope that Jake goes, is a success, develops even further, gets even better and perhaps even breaks his way into the national team as well. I think that is something he will be looking at doing as well and is more than capable of.”

Goodwin is confident that Hastie won’t get carried away with his move to Rangers after being impressed with his professional attitude and admirable work ethic during the time that he spent at part-time Alloa earlier this season.


READ MORE: Motherwell 'beast' Jake Hastie given Scotland Under-21s call-up by Scot Gemmill

“Jake was on loan at Airdrie last season and I saw enough in him then to know that he would do us a turn,” he said. “He was good enough to play in League One and I felt that he was more than capable of helping us in the Championship.

“He’s a young player who has got loads of energy, good pace and is left-sided. He ticked a lot of boxes for us. That is why I made the phone call to Stephen Robinson and Stephen Craigan at the time and we got him in.

“He was a credit to himself and to Motherwell when he came over. He applied himself brilliantly every night. He was just a really good boy to work with. He was really professional and good at taking on board information.

“He was really good for us in the short period he was here. He chipped in with a couple of goals, had a few assists and played a big part in our good start early in the season."

Goodwin added: “We played him wide left. I know that obviously Stephen has played him on the right, playing onto his left foot. But I played him out-and-out wide left and he was excellent in that position. He is very good in one-to-one situations with full-backs because he has blistering pace. If he can get back that full-back then it is very, very difficult to catch him.

“Like any young player, confidence is huge. With any kid like that, it is about self-belief. I think that was why he went back to Motherwell and did as well as he did. We were really disappointed when we got the phone call in December saying they were going to take him back. It was a difficult one. He was a hard one to replace.”