McKay impressed at Ibrox against The Hoops but is he really this good?

Barrie McKay was arguably Rangers’ most impressive attacking force in their Old Firm defeat to Celtic on New Year’s Day.

The 22-year-old’s direct running and intelligence in possession caused no end of problems for visiting right-back Mikael Lustig, ensuring he begins 2017 as Mark Warburton’s go-to creative force.

However, it still seems a tad outlandish to suggest that McKay would walk into a Celtic side 19 points clear of Rangers with Scotland international James Forrest and Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts dazzling in wide areas.

Nonetheless, former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels, whose son Dean played with McKay at Rangers during their ascent back to the top flight, has no doubt in his mind that if the 22-year-old was at Brendan Rodgers’ disposal he would be a regular fixture in the starting XI.

“He’s every bit as good as Celtic’s attacking players in the wide areas,” Shiels, who released McKay during his spell in charge of Kilmarnock due to concerns over a hip injury, told the Daily Record.

“Folk might wonder about that but I’d say he’s ahead of James Forrest and Patrick Roberts in terms of what he can bring to a team. His change of pace is better, his ability with the ball is better.”

Of course, every proud Celtic fan will back their players to the hilt especially when they are compared to those from the blue half of Glasgow.

And, although McKay has impressed in recent weeks and looks certain to play a leading role in Rangers’ attempts to bridge the widening gap between the Old Firm rivals, it’s fair to say the Bhoys are pretty happy with the options at their disposal.

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