Few Rangers supporters would have backed Brandon Barker to play a role in Steven Gerrard’s team at Ibrox this season. The English winger could be set for a more prominent role though.
Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were both slapped with seven-game bans yesterday for their part in a breach of government regulations.
Neither will be a massive loss to Rangers, with both Jones and Edmundson down the pecking order anyway.
Northern Ireland flyer Jones had looked as though he could prove a point to Gerrard, although that baton now looks like being passed to Barker.
The 24-year-old checked in from Manchester City where he failed to make an appearance in the first-team.
Barker signed during the summer transfer window of 2019 but didn’t enjoy a great campaign during 2019/20.
He played 13 times for the Gers and managed just one goal during a game against Livingston.
This season is already going far better. He has featured in eight games, scoring two goals with one coming in the 8-0 win over Hamilton before the international break.
With Jones set for a spell in the stands this has to the time for Barker to grasp every opportunity with both hands.
Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi are ahead of the Manchester-born flyer and he may have to remain patient.
With a tough schedule domestically and on the European front to come, however, he should get plenty of opportunities.
The £8,500-a-week Barker is yet to live up to his potential but the early signs of this season look positive.
He is energetic, technically gifted and given the chance he should continue to improve.
The ball is in Barker’s court now and this could be his chance to show he has what it takes to be an Ibrox success.