If Jordan Jones’s Rangers career had ended during the January transfer window, the defining image from his brief Ibrox spell would have been the red card he picked up when frustration got the better of him as Old Firm defeat loomed back in September.
Jones looked bright in the early stages of the season. He appeared destined to develop into the regular game-changer he had shown a glimpse of for Kilmarnock when Rangers came to Rugby Park shortly after his impending Gers move was announced.
However, the red card proved to be a costly moment of madness. Jones picked up an injury in the challenge that kept him sidelined for significantly longer than a three-match ban would have done.
In fact, he only made his return to Steven Gerrard’s side when Rangers saw off Stranraer in the Scottish Cup in January.
And it was during that month that the Daily Record reported that Gerrard was happy to let Jones leave the club.
Jones would stay beyond the deadline. But his absence following the 2-1 win over Hibernian in early February hinted that Gerrard would have been ready to offload Northern Irishman had a reasonable bid arrived.
Jones went more than a month without a first-team appearance. But with Rangers needing a winner against Ross County on Sunday, Gerrard decided to hand the 25-year-old a potential lifeline.
Rangers would find a winner moments later. In fairness, Jones had little to do with it. But he did make a positive impact following his introduction.
Jones earns fans’ plaudits
He looked exciting on the ball. He was happy running at defenders. And only a robust challenge seemed to prevent the wide-man bursting into the box at one stage. Jones also came fairly close to doubling Rangers’s lead late on.
It was a cameo that was lauded by the supporters. And it would perhaps not be a surprise if he is now in contention to feature more often in the coming months.
It remains to be seen if Gerrard has been won over. Unfortunately for Jones, his introduction felt somewhat like a throw of the dice from the Rangers boss as his side’s stutters threatened to continue.
But he now has his foot in the door. And he should now be given a further shot of redemption this weekend.
It is a huge week for Gerrard’s men. Rangers face Bayer Leverkusen twice within the next nine days. And in between, they take on Celtic.
The Old Firm game is not one for drastic changes. The league title looks to be beyond Rangers. But two wins against their bitter rivals would perhaps leave them with a small opportunity.
Nevertheless, Jones is ineligible for the tie with the Bundesliga side. So perhaps, he should be one of the players to start against Celtic.
Jones with a point to prove is a dangerous player. And it is probably fair to say that Rangers’s wide men have not exactly captured the imagination on a regular basis this season.
It may be a gamble. But it could be a masterstroke to let Jones complete the comeback story by creating another defining moment in an Old Firm clash.