Beating Liverpool and Manchester United to a teenager’s signature is no easy feat, but that’s exactly what Rangers did in June when they announced the signing of youngster James Graham.
The striker joined the Ibrox side for a reported fee of £45,000 when he signed the dotted line on a three-year-deal. But, even now, little is known about the 16 year-old and how he plays. YFS reporter Louis Cooper investigated to find out what kind of player Steven Gerrard has signed.
James moved from Stornoway to Ross County two years ago and has thrived for the Staggies ever since, having played at various youth levels. Because of this meteoric rise, word spread of his talent and he received attention from high-ranking clubs wanting his signature.
Where James would end up going had been up in the air for several months, with trials at Liverpool - where he scored two in a game against Notts County - in October and Manchester United in March - where he scored against Norwich City.
Ultimately, he chose to continue his development as a player at Ibrox. Sources close to the youngster believe this to be because of him wanting to stay in Scotland, and having been an avid Rangers fan growing up.
Many former teammates and coaches at Ross County spoke highly of the gifted young James.
Players spoke about his rapid pace and constant goal scoring desire in the game. Others mentioned his technical ability and skills he demonstrated on the pitch, as well as his hard work in training.
“He’s a lively, bright, positive spark at training,” said Adam MacKinnon, a teammate of the young striker at the Staggies. “James will treat everyone the same and is happy to have a conversation with anyone and everyone.”
Fellow County youngster Matthew Wright added: “He’s always happy with what’s going on, even if he doesn’t like it, and will still always commit himself to the drill going on.
“James is a very down to earth person and calm around everyone.”
Josh Reid, another highly-tipped County youngster, agreed: “Off the pitch, he lives a good balanced life revolving around staying active and his education.”
What they were all able to agree on was that James thoroughly deserved the transfer and they are just as excited as everyone else to see how far he can go.
James also mentioned on his Instagram about how honoured he was and how he is very excited for the opportunity and chance he has been given to sign for Rangers.
Although the Staggies’ players and coaches are sad to see the striker leave, there is much anticipation to see how much of his potential he will be able to reach. Those I spoke to agreed that with his ability and skill, the sky is the limit for where his career can go.
(Image courtesy of Rangers Football Club.)