Glasgow Rangers legend Barry Ferguson has praised Ibrox winger Brandon Barker for his impressive performances for Steven Gerrard’s side in pre-season.
The 23-year-old moved to Rangers from Manchester City last summer but seldom featured for the Light Blues in his maiden campaign.
Barker made 12 competitive appearances for Gerrard’s side and netted just once, in the 3-1 Scottish Premiership win over Livingston back in September.
However, the former England Under-20 international has caught the eye this summer thanks to his displays against Lyon and Motherwell.
Barker came on against the latter in the second half on Wednesday evening and forced Ricki Lamie to turn the ball into his own net after a surging run into the visitors’ penalty box.
His display against Well earned him praise from Gerrard, who told the Glasgow Times: “We will give him the opportunities and he has certainly taken his last two.
“Two cameos, but straight away you see that blistering pace. Defenders, certainly up here in Scotland, will find it difficult to cope with that.”
Ferguson is also impressed and backed Barker for more game time this season, telling the Daily Record: “Brandon Barker has impressed me so far and along with Jamie Murphy and Jordan Jones, he must be ready to contribute.
“Rangers will have to utilise their full squad of 22 players between now and December and even if the manager has a preferred starting 11, he won’t always be able to field them.
“Injuries, suspension and loss of form will do for Steven, as they do for all managers, and with such a heavy workload every player must be ready to step in and make a contribution.”
Barker’s first season at Rangers wasn’t particularly fruitful but he has improved massively in pre-season and, with Gerrard giving him a lifeline in terms of first-team opportunities, it bodes well for both player and club.
Likewise, Ferguson has been left impressed and, while it is just pre-season, the opportunity for Barker to step up and potentially play a role in a huge season for Rangers is there.