With the confirmation of Brandon Barker on a permanent deal, Steven Gerrard has created an interesting ‘problem’ for himself.
Barker, 22, is a left winger, and it’s safe to say there’s no lack of these at Ibrox.
Jordan Jones, Glenn Middleton, and Jamie Murphy are all the existing options, and if we go further and include all wingers regardless of orientation, then we throw Jake Hastie and Sheyi Ojo into the mix. And if we go even further and include those who aren’t actually proper wingers or have no future then it’s Scott Arfield and Eros Grezda.
It’s safe to say it’s a little crowded in this department!
We don’t believe Barker has been brought in to bulk up the squad but instead to provide direct and strong competition to the player it is believed is currently the main choice there – Jordan Jones.
Which still leaves an entire pile of players unaccounted for.
What happens with Jamie Murphy, Glenn Middleton, Eros Grezda and Jake Hastie? Hastie did play left wing in pre-season but has been omitted from most squads recently, so we truly don’t know what his status with Stevie actually is at present. Meanwhile clearly Eros Grezda has zero future and will be shipped out when the right opportunity comes – Gerrard has confirmed some loans are on the table but the numbers aren’t good enough yet.
And that leaves us with Murphy and Middleton. Middleton is reportedly undergoing a move to Hibs on loan, but it hasn’t been completed yet – Stevie has confirmed it’s set to be sorted after Saturday’s match against Paul Heckingbottom’s men, but we’ll not count our chickens till it’s official. And having whittled them down, what of Jamie Murphy? The winger, impressive the season he was signed, struggled a little more before injury last season but, in his absence, has turned into Messi in the eyes of some, but still isn’t being selected much despite fitness. We don’t know what will happen with the former Scotland winger.
Does this mean, as we suggested earlier, that the two main options for the left wing are indeed Jones and Barker? What happens with all the others?
It’s a curious state – SG confirmed today that despite being top scorers last season, he felt Rangers lacked creativity up front, so his intention was to build up a greater depository of attacking, creative and imaginative players – and he has certainly done that.
So Barker and Jones, it appears, now vie for that left wing slot, but your guess is as good as ours exactly how all the others fit in. Or don’t.