Ross McCrorie’s Rangers future is on a bit of a knife-edge at the moment.
Not in terms of needing to leave the club because he isn’t good enough, but more to do with whether he needs to head out on loan or not.
The Rangers youngster made a fantastic 24 appearances for the club last season under Pedro Caixinha, Graeme Murty, and Jimmy Nicholl. It was a disastrous year for the club on the pitch, but it was a breakthrough campaign individually for McCrorie, developing from a centre-back to a holding midfielder.
This year, therefore, was all about kicking on and making a name for himself under Steven Gerrard. Has he done that? It’s hard to truly convince yourself that he has done.
Yes, McCrorie has had a further 12 appearances for the club this season. The fact is, however, that only four of those matches have been starts. Instead, he’s been frozen out to an extent for the likes of Ovie Ejaria and Lassana Coulibaly.
It’s McCrories’s first real testing time at the club. He’s still starring for Scotland’s Under-21s, where he’s leading by example as the captain. He’s also performing capably for Rangers when coming on as a substitute.
But it’s consistent game time he needs at his young age. McCrorie is just 20 years of age, and at a period in his development where he needs to be playing week-in and week-out.
December is massive
December, therefore, is a massive month for him.
Gerrard has shown a strong desire to rotate his side on a weekly basis. Barely is the starting line-up ever the same from the week before, with much of that rotation coming in the midfield.
The issue for McCrorie is the fact that the players often being recycled for each other are Coulibaly, Ejaria, Ryan Jack, and Scott Arfield. McCrorie has still to seriously get a run of games this season.
He’ll get a few shots with so many games coming up this month. The Ibrox side have eight more matches left before wrapping up for the Winter break. To combat this, Gerrard will need to use the majority of his squad, and McCrorie will see some rare minutes.
If he fails to take them and doesn’t perform to a top level, replicating Greg Docherty and going for a loan spell is a must in January.
There will come a time when McCrorie will be set to be a Rangers star. For now, however, he simply must concentrate on impressing during his rare game-time.