Rangers winger Brandon Barker has acknowledged that it’s now or never for him at Ibrox following a poor first season, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.
The 24-year-old joined the Gers from Manchester City on a three-year deal last summer and Steven Gerrard described him as exactly the type of player the recruitment team had been after [BBC].
However, he struggled to make an impact at his new club, managing just 502 minutes across the whole campaign and scoring a solitary goal.
He looks a much more motivated and confident player this season, though, and he impressed fans with a fine goal against Ross County on Sunday afternoon.
“It is not that I wasn’t happy with my football last year, it was just that it was a difficult transition leaving my family and stuff,” he said after the game, as quoted by the Glasgow Times. “I am over that now, my family is with me and I just feel happier. I am buzzing to play for such a massive club and I just want to give my all for Rangers.”
“Definitely [this has to be the time to make my mark]. It is now or never really.
“It is always good when the manager believes in you. It is what makes you, what gives you confidence and the ability to go and express yourself on the pitch. I am delighted with that and hopefully, he keeps continuing his faith in me.”
Brandon Barker knows he has to prove his worth at Rangers – Verdict
The former Manchester City Academy Player of the Year faced plenty of criticism for his performances last year and it seemed possible that he wouldn’t receive any further chances after the footballing shutdown.
However, he forced his back way into the reckoning with a strong pre-season and while the likes of Jamie Murphy and Jake Hastie have left on loan, he’s managed to retain a place in the manager’s plans.
Barker has pace to burn and is now starting to show his ability to beat defenders when he backs his own ability.
With the likes of Ianis Hagi and Jordan Jones jostling with him for playing time, he’s likely to be restricted to occasional starts and substitute appearances.
It’s clear that he now realises he must make an impact each time he pulls on the jersey, though, and his fine goal against the Staggies constitutes a good start following a brief spell out with a hamstring injury.