It’s been just under 18 months since then 19-year-old Alex Lowry took his first steps onto an Ibrox pitch as a first-team player.
And it took less than 45 minutes for the Uddingston-born midfielder to make an immediate impact to the home support, as he scored the opening goal that evening in a Scottish Cup victory over lowly Stirling Albion.
Despite the quality of opposition being of the lower standard in terms of Scottish football, you could see why followers of the Rangers B Team were touting this kid as the best prospect to come out of Auchenhowie since Nathan Patterson the season prior.
A man-of-the-match showing just five days later playing the full 90 minutes in the league against Livingston being cemented to the fans that we might finally have something we’ve craved for years; a young playmaker who has came through the system that can be a pillar for years in the mould of Barry Ferguson.
Fast forward to the current day, and it is safe to say that Lowry hasn’t kicked on as quickly as we may have thought he would have last January, as his league appearances remain in the single figures at nine, with a solidary Scottish Premiership goal in the final match of the 2021/22 season against Hearts.
A combination of injuries, and a rumoured poor attitude off-the-pitch along with personal issues meant he was out the squad far more than he and Michael Beale would have liked.
Now, going until a vital period of his development, he finds himself in a conundrum.
It’s safe to say, even from his limited action in the last 12 months, that Lowry is far too good to be playing in the B Team. All that is going to serve him at this point in to maintain his fitness, and he really needs more than that to kick on.
So it’s first team football or bust.
And when you look at the attacking positions, or even the forward thinking midfield roles, Rangers are now spoiled for choice.
You have new arrivals in the form of Sam Lammers, Kieran Dowell and Abdallah Sima. There is potential additions in Jose Cifuentes, plus established or returning stars like Todd Cantwell, Ianis Hagi and Tom Lawrence.
All capable of playing in the same roles that Lowry loves to take up. That is some level of quality competition that might mean his minutes in the coming season may be similar or just slightly more that what he’s had before had.
As a result, I think it’s of fundamental importance that the club make the decision to allow him to spend a season out on loan.
Let me go out to a side like Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen. A team in the Scottish league who are capable of plenty the position-first football in their games not against the Old Firm, whilst also supplying the physical test that will necessary for any player who plans on playing in this league for years to come.
There is no question that he has the quality already to walk into any of these teams. It’s all about his attitude now. Is he willing to grit his teeth to put in the hard yards to show he’s not only the future of Rangers, but the future of Scottish football?
Is that a test Alex Lowry is up for? While, that’s the prized question we’ll see answered in the coming weeks.