As Rangers’ midfield continues to be clogged with talent, is Greg Docherty still in Steven Gerrard’s plans after his loan move to Shrewsbury Town?
The Ibrox club confirmed this afternoon that Docherty, who was signed from Hamilton in January, will spend the season down in England’s League One after opportunities became sparse under Gerrard.
The young Scottish midfielder was known for getting stuck in and showed great energy in a season to forget last term, but has been shifted out the door as Ryan Jack and Lassana Coulibaly are the preferred pairing in the middle of the park.
You have to wonder how Docherty recovers from this and secures his future as a Ranger.
With competition as high as it’s been at Ibrox in years, opportunities in the engine room won’t be wide-ranging this season. Jack, Coulibaly, Scott Arfield, Ross McCrorie, and Graham Dorrans are all still ahead of the 21-year-old in the pecking order.
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The move to Shrewsbury Town does provide Docherty with a huge chance to get games under his belt, but with the team Gerrard is looking to build, there must be fears that the quality in midfield will bypass the youngster.
Of course there remains plenty of room to develop in the former New Douglas Park prodigy, but Gerrard never seemed interested in giving him a shot on the pitch before sending him out on loan.
It’s clear that the Rangers manager rates all of his current midfielders highly, meaning Docherty now faces a huge uphill task trying to force his way into a strong-looking Gers side.
Gerrard will no doubt keep tabs on Docherty’s progress, but there is no question it’s an unspectacular loan move to a league not containing the highest of quality.
The midfielder remains a handy player, and has always had bags of energy and talent in his locker.
However, with a Rangers team consistently looking to evolve under their new boss, Docherty may very well have to start forging a career for himself outside of Ibrox.