Sam Ricketts would look at a Greg Docherty Shrewsbury return but feels midfielder has moved 'beyond' Town
Sam Ricketts would be keen on a return for Greg Docherty but feels the midfielder may have gone ‘beyond’ Shrewsbury Town.
The 22-year-old Rangers man was a huge hit in Shropshire last season and was crowned Town’s player of the season.
Docherty made 50 appearances for Ricketts’ side, scoring 10 goals and laying on 11 assists. The Rangers fan wants to break into Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side and has featured in pre-season friendlies. He is expected to have a chance in Europa League qualifiers beginning next week.
Ricketts believes that, if Docherty was available, his next move could be to a higher level.
“Doc would be of interest to a lot of people and I wish him the best,” Ricketts, who has been linked with Docherty’s Portsmouth-bound Rangers team-mate Ross McCrorie, told Scottish media.
“I hope he goes on and does really well this year. If he was available, then obviously we would be keen.
“But that doesn’t mean that it would happen. I think he could be out of our reach because he performed that well and he could be beyond us now.”
The Shrews boss believes Docherty’s ability, attitude and energy make him a ‘special’ player – and backed him to develop under the ‘phenomenal’ Gerrard.
Ricketts added: “He came away and played a full season of 50, 60 games, which is no mean feat for any player. The exuberance he has to want to do well is brilliant. I never watched him play at Rangers but he came here and worked so hard.
“It is not just his running and his pressing, they are excellent, but his goals and all round game were terrific.
“When you have got a player that is willing to put that shift in, that will run you 12km in every game, but also do it at his intensity, that is a major asset to any team. With Greg, you have his quality at the end of it and that is what makes him a special player.”
Ricketts added: “You won’t learn from anyone better because Steven Gerrard was one of the best players that the Premier League has ever seen. He was a phenomenal talent but he could get box-to-box, and Doc can do that too. He can score goals, he can assist goals and Doc has not got anyone better to learn from.”
The Shrews boss is looking forward to keeping tabs on Docherty’s career and believed Town will have played their part in the heights he goes on to reach.
“The whole idea of taking lads in on loan is to give them a platform to perform and to improve and I think that is exactly what happened with Doc last season, which was brilliant,” Ricketts said.
“I will follow him and I will wish him all the best and I hope that he can go and impress again this season and do well.
“We are really keen for him to go on and have a great career and then we can say that we helped, that we were a very small part, of helping him achieve that.”