Rangers return to action on Saturday against Hearts at Tynecastle.
It’s the first of five post-split fixtures which will take us through to the conclusion of the SPL season.
Alfredo Morelos won’t be involved this weekend or in the following fixture against Aberdeen, as he completes a four-match suspension.
Therefore, the door is slightly ajar for Kyle Lafferty. The Northern Ireland international signed from Hearts in August for a reported fee of £500k [Evening Times], as a backup to Alfredo Morelos.
However, since the arrival of Jermain Defoe, he’s been demoted to third choice. Furthermore, Steven Gerrard’s reluctance to play with any more than one out-and-out striker ensures Lafferty’s game time has been severely limited.
Is it too late to save his Ibrox career?
Conceivably, Lafferty could be deployed on several occasions before the end of the season. Particularly, in the fixtures for which El Bufalo is ineligible.
However, his chance of making a success of his second spell at with Rangers may already be over.
Steven Gerrard has already admitted that he’s on the hunt for quality additions in the final third this summer [Evening Times].
Meanwhile, both Ryan Hardie and Zak Rudden will shortly return from loan spells.
Unfortunately for Lafferty, that means competition is set to increase even more in forward areas.
The 31-year-old still has a year left on his contract. Yet, if he can barely get a kick this season, what’s it going to be like next year?
He can’t really complain, either. There’s no doubt he has been unlucky at times, but six goals in 29 appearances in all competitions just isn’t enough.
A couple of late contributions before the season is out, wouldn’t even take him to a goal every three games.
It’s a real shame, but it looks as though there’s little light at the end of the tunnel, for Lafferty.