Profile: Barrie McKay

31st July
First team

Barrie McKay is blessed with pace and trickery and has an eye for a spectacular goal.

Not only that, but he is a sharp passer who can lay on opportunities for others.

In short, he is an attacking threat, which explains why Graham Potter wanted him at Swansea City.

The Swans have signed a player who sparkled in the Championship for a while last season until a change of manager at Nottingham Forest saw his chances to impress dry up.

And they have recruited an attacking talent who first played for the Rangers first team back in 2012, when he was just 17 years old.

McKay, who hails from Renfrewshire, had signed for Rangers in 2011 having previously spent seven years at Kilmarnock.

That maiden first-team appearance was as a substitute in an end-of-season SPL game against St Johnstone, when Ally McCoist was in charge of Rangers.

In the following season, the Glasgow giants found themselves down in the Scottish Third Division as a result of financial troubles, and McKay racked up 39 appearances at the lower level.

In 2013-14 he spent time on loan in the second tier, with Greenock Morton, and he then played at the same level while on a season-long loan at Raith Rovers in the following campaign.

It was in 2015-16 that McKay really started to make a mark in the blue of Rangers, who had by then climbed back to the Scottish Championship.

He scored nine goals in 48 appearances in that campaign, including a stunning long-range strike against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

He also converted a spot-kick in the penalty shootout which followed as Rangers got one over on their rivals.

McKay won what for now is his only senior Scotland cap at the end of the season, in a friendly against France, while has also played for his country at under-18 and under-21 level.

He played regular top-flight football for the first time in 2016-17, scoring six goals in 46 appearances following Rangers’ return to the SPL.

With only a year left on his Ibrox contract, McKay said farewell to his homeland last summer, signing for Nottingham Forest.

He followed his former manager at Rangers, Mark Warburton, to the City Ground, and initially he thrived in a red jersey.

McKay scored the winner on debut against Millwall, and by Christmas had five goals and a number of assists to his name.

Yet Forest’s decision to replace Warburton with Aitor Karanka midway through the season turned out to be bad news for McKay.

The new manager made a raft of signings after taking over in January, and McKay made only a handful of appearances in the rest of the campaign.

Having been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Everton and RB Leipzig earlier in his career, McKay was heavily linked with a move to Olympiacos earlier this summer.

But instead he is heading to Wales, and Potter is delighted to have him on board.