When Rangers began their pursuit of Greg Stewart in April, he split opinion amongst the Rangers fans.
By the time he signed for the club two months later, the supporters were still undecided.
Some believed he would be the creative no.10 Steven Gerrard was looking for, but others believed he wasn’t good enough to get into the first team and would just be providing unnecessary padding to the squad.
Unfortunately for the 29-year-old, those who held the latter opinion are winning out.
To date, Stewart has just made two starts for the Light Blues. The last of those, against East Fife on 18 August, was also his last appearance. That means he has now gone over a month without featuring for the first team.
An injury doesn’t appear to be a factor, either. As far as is known, he’s been fit for the majority of this period. The former Aberdeen and Killie loanee is in the Gers’ Europa League squad [Uefa.com] and was pictured in training ahead of Thursday’s clash with Feyenoord [Rangers.co.uk]. Yet, he failed to make the bench for the tie.
To an extent, it’s understandable how the move appealed to both parties. A versatile attacker, Stewart can be deployed out wide, as a no.10 or up front and therefore, can cover a number of positions. For the player himself, as a Rangers fan, it was a chance to play for his boyhood club.
Yet, right now, it all looks like a bit of a waste.
Snapping him up as a free agent, the player didn’t bring much financial risk, but he is, of course, part of the wage bill on a two-year deal. From Stewart’s point of view, at 29, he’s heading towards the back end of his career and it’s a shame that he looks set to spend this season on the peripheries.
Steven Gerrard has promised changes for Sunday’s trip to St Johnstone. Therefore, it’s possible, if unlikely, that Stewart will add to his two starts.
Perhaps his versatility is counting against him, but in each of his potential positions, he’s currently well down the pecking order.
If an injury crisis strikes, he could eventually be given a chance to shine. For now, though, this summer swoop appears to have been rather flawed.