Glenn Middleton’s development could be set to continue in fine form once more over this hectic winter schedule.
Rangers have been relying on Ryan Kent in recent times, and the Liverpool man has done tremendously well. Kent’s displays have wowed the Rangers supporters in recent weeks, with goals and flair being provided consistently.
There has been one detriment to Kent’s fantastic displays, however. That’s the time being given for Middleton to shine.
The left-winger has just signed a new contract at Ibrox that will keep him in Glasgow for another five years. It was a terrific bit of business by the club given the promise he’s shown. With his original deal set to expire at the end of the season, the new contract takes away any concerns over his future.
This season, Middleton has managed to bag an impressive 13 appearances. Despite that, however, just one of those appearances have been from the starting line-up.
Kent’s form has meant that any further starting opportunities would be minimal. That, however, will definitely change over the next couple of months.
Starting on Wednesday when Rangers host Kilmarnock, the Gers will have a total of four matches over the course of 11 days. If Kent was to play 90 minutes in each and every one of those, that would be a huge surprise.
December, however, is when we may start to see the best of Middleton. Rangers have a sensational nine matches over the course of the month. That averages over two matches each week.
Middleton is going to be a big player at Ibrox over many years. He won’t, however, want to sit and be watching from the sidelines all season whilst Kent fires on all cylinders.
For the big matches, the on-loan Liverpool star is undroppable. That is undeniable, and Middleton will barely feature in any game perceived to be huge on paper.
Fixtures such as St Johnstone and Dundee away, as well as Hamilton and Livingston at home could see the Scotland under-21 star back in the spotlight however.
You can easily turn around and say that the winter months are an opportunity for everyone. Middleton, however, is still waiting on that breakout performance, and is on the periphery of the first-team.
The next eight-10 weeks could prove to be massive for the youngster, and he needs to be ready to take his opportunity when it comes.