Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall was one of a number of loan signings made by Rangers in the summer.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a lot of game time early on, as the manager tried out centre-back combinations.
Worrall began reasonably strongly, but has been replaced by fit again Gareth McAuley in recent matches. Another raw talent, the Englishman shows his naivety in possession at times and has been criticised by Gers fans.
His parent club, Nottingham Forest – who were prepared to let him travel north to Glasgow in search of more minutes – are now in the midst of an injury crisis.
Naturally, this sparked some talk of Worrall returning to England much sooner than expected.
Karanka plays down talk of early return
However, in an interview with the Nottingham Post, Forest’s manager Aitor Karanka, played down an early recall.
‘I think we need to be calm. It is normal to speak about Joe in this situation, because we do not have many central defenders’, said the Spaniard, before confirming that there are clauses in Worrall’s contract.
‘But he is playing, he is happy and his manager is happy with him. Let’s see what happens in the following weeks.’
The former Real Madrid assistant added: ‘The reason we sent him on loan was to make sure he is playing football. To make sure he is fit and ready to build confidence, in a tough league in Scotland.’
‘We will do the things that we have to do in January, without being in a hurry or risking making a mistake’, he concluded.
While Worrall might not be in Rangers’ strongest XI at the minute, this is positive news. His early departure would leave Gerrard short of defensive cover over a difficult winter period.
With some of Forest’s injured defenders set to return soon, it looks as though the 21-year-old will be staying at Ibrox for the foreseeable.