David Bates gives Rangers chance to make Danny Wilson sale look smart

Danny Wilson of Rangers arrives at the ground during the Scottish Championships match between Greenock Morton FC and Rangers at Cappielow Park on September 27, 2015 in Greenock, Scotland.

Glasgow Rangers defender David Bates is out of contract at Ibrox at the end of the season.

Danny Wilson of Rangers arrives at the ground during the Scottish Championships match between Greenock Morton FC and Rangers at Cappielow Park on September 27, 2015 in Greenock, Scotland.

With Danny Wilson in fine form in the weeks leading up to the winter break in the Scottish Premiership, it would have undoubtedly come as a major shock to many Rangers fans when he departed for Major League Soccer towards the end of the January transfer window.

At the time, it had appeared to many that the centre-back had made the call to leave rather than extend his contract at Ibrox that was due to expire at the end of the season. However, Wilson has now spoken out about his departure and suggested that he initially wanted to stay.

Danny Wilson of Rangers heads the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In comments reported by The Scottish Sun, the defender suggested that director of football Mark Allen decided against offering him a new deal, and that is what prompted his move to America.

While Wilson's recent run of form was not exactly what Gers fans had come to expect from the 26-year-old, it was still a move that disappointed many as he had arguably been the best defender at Graeme Murty's disposal in the matches leading up to the break, so it would be no surprise if a number of supporters were slightly frustrated with Allen's decision.

But one way that Rangers can ensure that the decision to axe Wilson starts to make a little more sense is if they now go on and agree a contract extension with David Bates.

Referee Jonathan Bilinski gets between David Bates of Scottish club Rangers FC (R) and Lucca of Brazilian club Corinthians during their Florida Cup soccer game at Orlando City Stadium in...

Like Wilson before his exit, Bates is out of contract at the end of the campaign. And while the youngster's form has also been concerning at times, his recent performances, as well as his displays against the likes of Celtic and Aberdeen this term suggest that he is the kind of player that Murty should be looking to hold onto for a number of years. 

Bates has formed an excellent partnership with Russell Martin in recent times, and has certainly not been overshadowed by his older, significantly more experienced colleague at the heart of the back four. 

If Rangers now go on and agree fresh terms with Bates, moving Wilson off the books looks a lot more understandable as the 21-year-old appears to have the potential to be much better than Wilson has been when you consider his entire spell at Ibrox.

But if the Gers end up losing Bates at the end of the season, it seems highly likely that the decision to let Wilson go will result in Allen facing a lot more scrutiny than he is currently receiving. 

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch