On the eve of Rangers’ Scottish Premiership clash against Hibernian, Steven Gerrard made it clear that Jamie Murphy was some way off first-team contention at Ibrox [Daily Record].
The 29-year-old winger spent the vast majority of last season out with a serious knee injury. He sustained ligament damage turning out at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock, last August.
However, despite completing his rehab, and taking part in pre-season, Stevie G still believes the ex-Brighton man is well off the pace.
““He’s doing everything he can to get back to the level he was at before,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Record. “Is Jamie’s level before good enough to fight for a starting spot here?”
“I’ll have a chat with Jamie and see what we think is best. But a loan will be one thing on the agenda.”
Rangers fans respond to Gerrard’s comments
The manager made Murphy’s current Ibrox status very clear. After the arrivals of Jordan Jones, Jake Hastie, Sheyi Ojo and Brandon Barker this summer, he’s nowhere near the starting XI.
Barker was not involved against Hibs on Sunday, but Jones was electric in parts and Ojo got himself on the scoresheet.
90' GOAL! @sheyi_ojo makes it six.
A new Full-Time Graphic required! pic.twitter.com/S7NZxXJSzq
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) August 11, 2019
It’s unlikely that after watching those performances, Stevie G will feel compelled to change his mind on Murphy.
The idea that he is currently surplus to requirements, could be something of a shock for some Bears, who had predicted a big role for him this campaign.
Here’s how a selection of fans reacted to the manager’s comments on Twitter.
Loaning Jamie Murphy out is a mistake. Quality player.
— Andrew (@footshooter77) August 10, 2019
27 games .. 6 goals and 13 assists just not had a great time cause injury , would like to see him make his way back in
— Dale (@DaleGray92) August 10, 2019
Good we won't challenge for trophies with him in the side. He's bang average
— Chris (@RFC54WATP1) August 10, 2019
Was about to say "He's been out that long that him coming back will be like a new signing for Gerrard" but that is a shame if Gerrard feels the best option is to loan him out for a bit to get him game time and review if he's needed.
— Greegsy's Gloves (@Gers89_) August 11, 2019
not sure about this , of an age if hes no playing then punt him
— Russell B (@rb4762) August 11, 2019
Surely can't be that far away from full fitness? We will be heavily involved soon.
— Lieutenant Bromhead (@Bluemunchens) August 11, 2019
Just watched a couple of YouTube videos or Murphy since he’s been back up. So underrated, playing with the likes of Arfield, Aribo, Davis etc he could be even better. Hope we get to find out at least.
— Gavin Kelly (@gmkelly1979) August 11, 2019