Ovie Ejaria’s performance levels have undoubtedly dropped in recent weeks. As a result, the 21-year-old, on-loan from Liverpool, faced heavy criticism from fans for a perceived lack of effort and quality after the defeat to Aberdeen.
The midfielder has racked up 25 starts already this season, but last found the net away to FC Ufa in August. A player who looks to cruise through matches, the end product hasn’t justified his laid back approach.
Yet, Steven Gerrard continues to show faith in the youngster. He is very rarely absent from the starting XI, and despite calls from the fans, he will probably stay there for Dundee on Sunday.
The youngster would undoubtedly be under more pressure if Scott Arfield weren’t suspended, but in his absence, he is likely to retain his place in the centre of the park.
How much more time will he be given?
When Gerrard has a full complement of players again, Ejaria can’t be far away from finding himself on the bench. For a player afforded creative license, he consistently fails to affect the game in the final third.
There is talent there, of that there is no doubt. But, he is naive in possession and physically, is yet to really fill out his frame.
From Liverpool’s perspective, he’s doing what he needs to be doing. Playing week in, week out and developing. Yet, Rangers don’t really have the time to nurture those who aren’t quite up to speed.
Ibrox isn’t an extension of the Liverpool youth system, nor a creche for its future stars.
This a club that needs to get back to winning things. Unless Ejaria’s performances improve dramatically, its hard to make a case for his continual inclusion in the starting line-up.