Rangers speedster Brandon Barker is in contention for his first appearance of the season against Livingston on Wednesday night.
Barker is in the final year of his contract at Ibrox, having joined on a three-year deal from Manchester City in the summer of 2019.
While he’s shown glimpses of ability, he hasn’t managed to make a real impact at the club, scoring three times and failing to notch an assist in 26 appearances.
The winger spent the second half of the 2020/21 season out on loan at Oxford United in EFL League One where he played relatively regularly and made some important contributions.
However, he didn’t do enough to convince Steven Gerrard that he would be a dependable asset going forward.
Barker was briefly involved in pre-season but was then forced out of action for a short while either by injury or as a result of a Covid close contact, and he hasn’t managed to break back in since.
The former England youth international has featured in training material in recent weeks, though, including in Tuesday’s pre-Livingston footage.
🆕 TRAINING GROUND: Catch up on all the latest action from training ahead of Wednesday's match.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 21, 2021
It’s therefore clear that he’s in contention to feature in the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final.
His chances of making the matchday squad may have been harmed somewhat by the return of Ianis Hagi but with Ryan Kent out injured, there’s still a chance that Barker will be drafted in for his pace.
Given that he isn’t in the Light Blues’ Europa League squad, he can only contribute in domestic competitions and one of his three career goals for the club came in a home fixture against Livi two years ago.
Gerrard has shown a willingness to use the 24-year-old as a surprise starter in big games in the past such as Europa League clashes against Porto and in an Old Firm, and he could be given a role of some kind in the quarter-final.