Glenn Middleton’s game-time has probably been over and above what he could’ve hoped for so far this season.
The left-winger was predicted to have a breakthrough campaign this year, but it’s been better than expected. The Scotland Under-19 star has a sensational 19 appearances for the club already this season. That’s before the half-way point of the season too.
Unfortunately, the nature of the beast at Rangers means that you’re only as good as your last performance. For Middleton, he’s had a quiet few weeks despite being given several big opportunities.
Matches against Livingston, Villarreal, Aberdeen, and Dundee respectively have seen him fail to bag a goal. He did assist from a corner for Daniel Candeias’ opener against Livi, but he’s been quiet.
It’s certainly no disaster. He’s still only just 18 years of age and has a lot to learn in his development. So far, he’s done better this season than he would’ve thought possible, and made more appearances at this stage than he probably thought he would receive all season.
Despite that, however, he could do with reminding everyone of the best side of his game against Rapid Vienna on Thursday. Ryan Kent is back out with another knock after briefly returning against Dundee.
The onus is on you Glenn
What that means is that the onus is on Middleton once again to provide some creativity down the left. Of course, Steven Gerrard could surprise us all and play Eros Grezda down that flank. With Daniel Candeias suspended, however, you have to imagine that Grezda will occupy the right-side instead.
Middleton has simply been too quiet during his big break in recent times. He made huge noises when he bagged in Moscow in the 4-3- defeat in Russia. That’s exactly the kind of impact that he could do with providing on Thursday night.
Elements of the supporters were frustrated with his deliveries on Sunday at Dens Park. The left-winger was a tad predictable and it led to some food-and-drink defending for Genseric Kusunga and Andrew Boyle respectively.
Kent won’t be injured forever, and speculation will hot up regarding Jordan Jones too.
Middleton has to make his time in the first-team count before any of those players come in and make an impact.
Just to confirm – the winger is doing tremendously well this season. But if he wants to make himself a serious contender to be in the staring XI when everyone is fit, he has to take chances like tomorrow in Vienna.