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Spurs loanee ready to fight for his starting role at Rangers

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Nathan Oduwa might be making the headlines, but Dominic Ball is quietly making the most of his opportunities in Scotland.

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Did you know there are two Tottenham Hotspur players on loan at Rangers this season? We've posted a lot about the high-flying, creative winger Nathan Oduwa this fall and his skill (and the controversy he generates) clearly gets the lion's share of the attention. But central defender and academy graduate Dominic Ball has quietly made his way into 'Gers starting lineup, and now he's hoping to make that position his own.

Ball, a talented young central defender whom we ranked as an Honorable Mention in this summer's prospect rankings, started the season on the bench for Mark Warburton's Rangers, who had recently purchased former Liverpool player Danny Wilson. But when Wilson went down with an injury, Ball was given his chance and has made the most of his appearances, and has been impressive enough for Rangers that Warburton singled him out for praise after a win against St. Mirren.

"Danny is fit and well but Dom is making a challenge. Danny trained with us here yesterday and is in the squad. But he would be first to say players have to be patient and when they earn their shirt they have to take their chance.

"Dom has taken his chance. He has come in and delivered three good performances. He is making it very difficult.

"Danny's a good pro and his job now is to work hard to try to get that shirt back. But it won't come easily - certainly not from Dom and Rob [Kiernan]"

With Wilson back to fitness, Ball is adamant that he intends to fight to keep his place in the starting lineup, and it sounds like he may get that opportunity.

"The way I have played in the last few games I think I deserve to keep my place but Danny is a great player and it is down to the manager choice in the end."

"After three games in a row you start to get into your rhythm and I think I'm showing what I can do.

"The fans have been very positive on Twitter, there has been a lot of praise which is good because I thrive on praise and I appreciate everyone's comments.

"I think I have done well but I still have more to come and I'm always pushing to improve and get better and that is what I want to do."

However, even on the back of a successful loan, it may be difficult for Ball to get a shot at Spurs. Ball actually made Tottenham's bench a couple of times under Tim Sherwood, which implied that me might be ready to make the jump, but then had a disastrous loan at Cambridge last spring where he made only two appearances in League 2.

Now 20 years old, he's reaching the point where he'll have to start showing that he's got the skills to make it as a Premier League defender.  He already has plenty of competition at Tottenham, not just from the senior central defenders, but also from fellow academy grads Cameron Carter-Vickers and Milos Veljkovic.

Even with a good loan it might not be enough to crack into Spurs' first team, but it would certainly help by putting him in the shop window to be an attractive target for a club where he could make an impact. If he keeps impressing at Rangers, he might get at least that chance.