When Rangers originally signed Hamilton’s Greg Docherty, he was a lauded capture – a bright young SPL thing who was one of us, and who looked a future Scotland (and Rangers) captain.
And his performances in our shirt lived up to that billing, as the-then defensive midfielder formed a wonderful duo with QPR’s Sean Goss.
Unfortunately, Goss was scapegoated by manager Graeme Murty following the crushing loss to Celtic, while Docherty suffered Goss’s replacement Graham Dorrans, and became a scapegoat himself, for the fans this time.
One of new manager Steven Gerrard’s first decisions was that Docherty would not be part of his debut season’s plans at Ibrox, and after completing the pre-season in Malaga, Docherty was shipped out on loan to Shrewsbury.
And the results have been outstanding. Developing superbly into an attacking midfielder, the 22-year old has an astonishing seven assists and five goals in the league in 30 appearances, with a total of 10 assists and eight goals in 39 appearances total this season.
Having nailed another goal on Saturday, Docherty, while not playing quite at the elite level of football weekly, is delivering against strong competitive opposition, and having done it against EPL opposition too (Wolves in the FA Cup) has shown he can perform in superior levels as well.
The reality is either he is proving Steven Gerrard completely wrong to have ditched him, or Gerrard has played a blinder giving him a chance to go out and develop into the kind of player he wants to be and is best at.
When we saw those early displays from Docherty, we saw a tough midfield destroyer – unfortunately, as he bounced off Scott Brown in a notable 50/50 in aforementioned OF loss, there was a nagging feeling either he had some bulking and growing to do, or he might not be the destroyer we’d hoped for.
However it’s come, by hook or by crook, Docherty has become a genuinely superb player who can do it as much against Wolves as he can against Wycombe.
While Gerrard will have funds this summer, the failure of Graham Dorrans to stay fit and the inability of Scott Arfield to really convince as a creative attacking midfielder, and the flop that has been Steven Davis so far, Docherty has a window of opportunity.
If he keeps scoring and assisting, which he will, Steven Gerrard will either be unable to ignore him any more, or be lauded for his genius decision to push the youngster out on loan.
Either way, he has to come back.