GAEL Bigirimana has made the surprising admission that relegation could HELP Newcastle United in the long-term.
Bigirimana – who joined Rangers on loan from Newcastle in January – has compared United’s situation to that of Southampton 10 years ago, and says the club’s structure may need to be reviewed.
Sometimes as a club you need everything to be reviewedGael Bigirimana
The Saints were relegated to the Championship before later dropping to League One, and eventually building their way back up to the Premier League.
The 21-year-old’s comments are unlikely to go down well in the corridors of power at St James’s Park, though, with the midfielder expected to move back to his parent club in the summer after an unsuccessful time in Scotland.
He could be rejoining a club in the Championship, with Newcastle just two points clear of the relegation zone with three games left, having lost their last eight fixtures.
However, Bigirimana does not feel relegation would necessarily be an altogether bad thing.
He said: “This might put me in trouble but you look at what happened to Southampton five or six years ago.
“Sometimes as a club you need everything to be reviewed – its foundation and the structure.
“I don’t want them to go down and get relegated. Nobody wants that to happen but it’s all about the future.”
Bigirimana has endured a torrid time north of the border since being farmed out by Newcastle along with four of his team-mates.
The Burundi-born England Under-20 international has yet to make an appearance for the Gers, who have qualified for the play-offs in the Scottish Championship.
Bigirimana has been unable to play because of an unspecified illness, with Scottish FA rules not allowing him to take part in matches.
It has also been a difficult period for three other Newcastle loanees at Ibrox.
Remie Streete made his debut for Rangers in a Scottish FA Cup tie in February, but after suffering an injury in the game, he has not appeared since.
Kevin Mbabu and Shane Ferguson have not yet made an appearance for Rangers due to their own injury problems, but the fifth Newcastle loanee – Haris Vuckic – has been a big success with the Glasgow giants.
The Slovenian midfielder has scored nine times in 16 appearances for Stuart McCall’s side, and is set to be a key player for them in the play-offs.