Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is ready to hand a second chance to former Manchester City youth Brandon Barker after an encouraging cameo in Lyon.
The pacey winger showed what he was all about in the second half of the 2-0 win over Lyon, leaving defenders in his wake and creating two clear-cut chances which really should’ve been buried by his teammates.
Almost farmed out on loan in January, Barker signed a three-year deal last summer and now Steven Gerrard is rethinking how he gets the most from it.
“Brandon has come back in an OK place, but I think the other night was the first time we saw the reason why we brought him in,” said Gerrard [Scottish Sun].
“When he plays to his full potential he can be unplayable — and you saw that against Lyon.
“But a few cameos in the time he has been here is not enough and he knows that.
“We have put the challenge to him and now the ball’s in his court.
“If he repeats that on a regular basis, he is more than welcome to stay around and help us.”
The impressive Barker, 23, was forced off in the second half of the Lyon match with the injury set to be assessed upon the club’s return to Glasgow.
“Brandon picked up an injury and we’ll get it checked out when we get home,” said Gerrard.
“He is a lot better than he was on Friday, but we are still a bit concerned about it.”
A product of Manchester City’s youth academy, Barker has never quite reached the potential which had the English giants excited about the player’s future in football.
If Rangers can unlock it then they’ll have an exciting talent who can contribute in the final third of the pitch.
Barker previously had loan spells with Rotherham United, NAC Breda, Hibs and Preston North End before joining Rangers on a permanent deal last summer.
Barker has been capped up to U20 level with England and has made 12 appearances for Rangers, scoring once, in a 3-1 win over Livingston at Ibrox last September.