Ryan Jack’s admission that discussions haven’t yet started over a new deal at Rangers is a worrying sign for the Scotland midfielder, simply because Rangers were so keen to tie down Ianis Hagi, who still isn’t slated to return till next year, and Leon King, who’s currently ill.
That Jack is so low in priority for Rangers chiefs, ala Ross Wilson, is a concerning notion for him, and his words to the press over the past few days scream vividly of the kind of thing Leon Balogun used to say before he was released, and Jack’s injury history is far worse than the big Nigerian’s was.
Do we favour a new deal for him? The last time we discussed this, the answer was an overwhelming no from the readers – we all love the player, but his injury history at Ibrox is farcical, and he’s lucky he got the extension in 2019 for two extra years, because the value for money has been poor.
Since that deal in October that year, which was the last season he played a good number of matches (42) he’s not gone above 25 in any season total, and that’s not changing. The good news for Jack is he’s fit at the moment, and he might experience a big renaissance under Michael Beale.
His best career form was under him a couple of years ago, and at the moment he’s some distance off that level, but we did see a solid performance v Hibernian under the new boss so we suspect this is one Rangers as a club are monitoring.
Ryan Jack is going to have to prove to this club that he can stay fit, and still perform – the simple reality is we don’t have money to waste on players who can’t deliver due to simply not being physically able to.
In short? Jack’s Rangers future is in his own hands – he has to trust his body and stay healthy, and regain the form which made him so indispensable all those years ago. The odds for this aren’t exactly in his favour, but the system change under Beale may help, a change back to what worked at Rangers for Jack before.
Hagi and King? Both young, both assets, and both value if/when fit. It was a no-brainer for Rangers to give these guys new deals, but Jack has history of injuries and we wouldn’t be shocked if he’s released in the summer.
But he is the one who can change that.