In one of his most transparent press conferences yet, Rangers manager Philippe Clement, among many other things, effectively confirmed Alex Lowry’s Ibrox career is at best finished and at worst ignominious.
Revealing he simply has no space (or time) for the playmaker, and didn’t want him back from Hearts, the Ibrox boss seeks to send Lowry out again on loan to get minutes and make an assessment again in the summer.
But of course, it has nothing to do with age or competition – he simply isn’t wanted at Rangers under this manager.
Speaking on the attacker, Clement said:
“No I didn’t bring him back. No (he’s not still on loan at Hearts) but I didn’t bring him back. Hearts said they didn’t want to keep him the next six months so the clear plan with Alex is that we want him to go on loan again because it’s clear with the squad we have now it’s going to be difficult for him to take minutes.”
In short, ‘I don’t want him’.
It has nothing to do with age, or competition – in terms of age players younger or the same age as Lowry are in favour under this boss, McCausland and King only being two examples.
It has nothing to do with competition, because Cantwell isn’t exactly outstanding these days and there is no one else in the squad in the 10 slot. It’s not a position brimming with an embarrassment of riches.
We are all well aware ‘the squad we have now’ is still short in some areas, it’s not exactly encumbered with top quality from root to tip, and yet Clement makes an argument that the competition is too fierce.
No, Lowry’s Rangers race is run. Rangers didn’t want him back from Hearts, and while Clement alludes to a season plan for him, the fact is a player that Hearts rejected isn’t good enough for Rangers.
And yes, the BBC’s Jane Lewis was being a bit provocative with her ‘so he’s still on loan at Hearts’ nonsense, but it didn’t change Clement’s opinion of the boy.
Lowry won’t be part of the Rangers picture after this summer.