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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Rangers want to keep Dominic Ball

Dominic Ball is making a name for himself at Rangers as a midfield player, much like Eric Dier is doing at Tottenham.

Both were centre-backs who have been converted to a defensive midfield role, although Dier did play in the position for Sporting before he joined Spurs after being scouted by Franco Baldini.

Mark Warburton has been pleased with the Spurs man and would like to bring him back when his loan deal finished in the summer.

“Dom is a Spurs player, like Gedion (Zelalem) with Arsenal. Our job is to maintain dialogue and keep proving we can deliver an environment for these players. 
“It sounds a bit cold to call them assets, but that’s what they are. Balance sheet items. 
“I’ve been delighted with Dom. He has settled in well and is well liked by the squad. He shows a great attitude every day in training and his desire to learn is evident. I would have no hesitation [in bringing him back], but right now he is a Spurs player. He will go back and we’ll chat to Spurs about where we are for next season. 
“Spurs send staff up all the time. Dean Rastrick was up two weeks ago and we had some lunch, chatting about the relationship. 
“As a loan club, Rangers provides a unique environment of playing in front of 50,000 people. How many places does that happen? It is a huge benefit for us. They see the facilities here as being like a Premier League club. The way we play also hopefully works out well for those clubs. 
“But we have to respond to their feedback and make sure they know all they need to know. If we can do that and strengthen the relationship then we will be in a good place.”

The 20-year-old (21 in August) England Under-20 international from Welwyn Garden City has made 20 appearances during his loan spell at Rangers who are chasing the Scottish Championship title. Ball has dual nationality and could represent Northern Ireland. That seems more likely as he has played for them at Under-15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 levels, with England at Under-19 and Under-20 levels and back to Northern Ireland at Under-21 level. 

It shows what a mockery the current eligibility system is. If he stays in Scotland for 5 years he could play for Scotland, despite not being Scottish. The whole thing needs looking at again.

His versatility in playing either a defensive midfield role or a centre-back role makes him valuable to any manager. We already know Pochettino values versatility and Ball will be hoping his time at Rangers helps progress him at Spurs. Not everyone can jump up from League One standard football, which is what the Scottish Championship is, straight into Premier League football. dele Alli and before him Ryan Mason may have done it but most need a stop in the Championship to develop them further.



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