Jordan Jones has got himself in a spot of bother after being hit with a seven-game ban by the SFA for breaching Covid rules. The Glasgow Rangers winger attended a private gathering two weeks ago with George Edmundson including people from outside of their bubble and the duo were suspended by the club as part of an internal investigation.
Following his suspension, he was left out of Northern Ireland’s squad for the Euro 2020 playoff final against Slovakia as a result, which has cast considerable doubt over his future for club and country.
Steven Naismith spoke to PLZ Soccer’s Football Show about the situation and admitted he wouldn’t be surprised if they are axed from the squad because of their behaviour.
“In terms of Rangers as a whole, the manager’s built his squad and these guys have been a part of that,” the Rangers legend said, as quoted by The Daily Record. “Whether they’re starters or guys who need to bide their time, they were always going to get game-time with the number of games Rangers have. That’s probably the part that will anger the manager.
“For them, so many things have been taken out of their hands now. The seven games, everyone else in the squad can play and put themselves ahead of these two guys in the squad and before you know it, you’re into the January transfer window and the manager might want to freshen things up.
If Steven Gerrard does go down this route and decides to teach the two players a lesson, it will certainly be a shock to the system for the rest of the squad. Regardless of whether or not Jones is sold in January, Gerrard could reward Brandon Barker with a second chance at the Govan stadium.
The Liverpool legend was famous for his no-nonsense attitude throughout his playing career, which he seems to have carried over after taking the reins at Ibrox. With the Gers surging to the top of the Scottish Premiership, Gerrard has shown he is more than willing to make cut-throat decisions when it matters to make sure that his side win at all costs. He had no problems dropping Alfredo Morelos amid reports of dissent at the start of the season.
It’s claimed that he has opened the door for Jones to salvage his Ibrox career, but should Gerrard axe the Northern Irishman in the end instead, Barker could stake his claim for a place in the starting line-up.
The 24-year-old has struggled for game time so far this season, having played just 365′ minutes of football in total, but he came off the bench to score a goal against Hamilton Academical as Rangers ran riot over the Accies in a 8-0 win at Ibrox before the international break.
Per SofaScore, he took one shot on target, 20 touches of the ball, and completed 14 out of 15 passes at a pass accuracy rating of 93%, whilst he also produced 2 out of 3 accurate long balls, which shows that he was a useful attacking asset.
Once lauded as an “unbelievable” talent by former Gers player Andy Halliday, the versatile player has shown that he wants to work hard to regain a spot in Gerrard’s plans. With Jones currently suspended until late December at the very least, there will surely be plenty of opportunities coming his way in the weeks and months ahead.
AND in other news, Forget Morelos: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard must unleash one man vs Aberdeen…