Rangers winger Glenn Middleton took part in first-team training on Wednesday as he eyes a spot in the squad for the Europa League clash against Benfica [RangersTV].

Middleton has gone from a breakout star to something of a forgotten man at Ibrox in recent times after unimpressive loan stints at Hibernian and Bradford City.

Glenn Middleton struggled for playing time at Hibernian last season. (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 20-year-old made 28 appearances under Gerrard during the 2018/19 campaign, with the last of those coming as a substitute in a 3-1 Premiership win at Hearts in April 2019.

He was restricted to training with and turning out for the club’s B team at the start of this season.

However, he was promoted to the first-team bubble a number of weeks ago and after scoring on Scotland U21s duty against Croatia during the recent block of international fixtures, he’ll be hoping he’s done enough to force himself into the manager’s plans.

Nathan Patterson is isolating after being identified as a close contact of one of the players who tested positive for Covid-19 following that Scotland U21 camp.

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Yet, Middleton wasn’t impacted and was seen taking part in Gers training drills on Wednesday alongside the likes of Alfredo Morelos and Glen Kamara.

Clubs are permitted to name 12 substitutes for Europa League matches this season, a rule tweak that Leon King and Ciaran Dickson have already benefitted from.

Rangers Scotland Under 21 v Croatia U21 - UEFA Under 21 Championship

Glenn Middleton will be hoping his lively Scotland U21s performances can earn him a spot in the Rangers squad to face Benfica. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Both of those teenagers can also be spotted in the RangersTV training ground footage but Middleton will be hoping it’s finally time for him to return to a first-team matchday squad.

With Patterson and Bongani Zungu ruled out and Ryan Jack a doubt, there should be even more room on the bench than usual and given that Middleton has started and scored in the Europa League group stages before, he’ll feel it’s a level at which he can contribute.

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