Rangers secured Jack Simpson last January in a signing which ended up being ushered ahead of time, and the-now 24-year old stopper made his way north for the second half of the campaign.
We are making absolutely no conclusions about Simpson’s prospects this season or about his Rangers future in general, but what we have seen from the ex-Cherries man doesn’t inspire an awful lot of confidence yet.
We know we know, ‘give him a chance’ etc, but at his age a career 40 appearances (30 starts) is quite a modest return when we look at injury-riddled Niko Katic at the same age having amassed almost three times that number.
The feeling, at this early stage, is Simpson seems a bit lost and a bit soft – he lacks presence, and for a big guy (6ft 2) he doesn’t seem too imposing.
He doesn’t seem to read the game too well at this point, but we imagine it’s being worked on in training.
Stevie G has been vocal about how he wants Niko Katic to learn, to understanding reading and patience and the fine art of defending, and the same could be said of Simpson.
Jack has been at Ibrox now for 7 months, and is nowhere near a starter – Connor Goldson, Filip Helander, Leon Balogun and Katic himself are almost certainly ahead of him – if he’s been signed as squad we can have no complaints about the sparing way he’s been used.
The question then becomes, ‘is he good enough’. The management know better than us, but at 24 his limited appearances for Rangers (7, 4 starts during the split) does suggest he’s seen as squad and/or not ready.
He’s not a kid any more, he’s not a 19-22 year old defender green around the ears. He’s 24 and this should be his time. If he is just squad, then that’s fair enough.
All players have their roles, and Simpson’s appears to be depth.