Steven Gerrard must bite the bullet and put the pressure on Ross Wilson to cash in on Glasgow Rangers outcast Jordan Jones in January.
Jones joined Rangers in 2019 on a free transfer after he agreed a four-year pre-contract deal from Kilmarnock, with the winger saying: “I’ve waited for this moment for a long time and today is a dream come true!”
The Gers had originally tried to sign him a year prior to his move but to no avail, until he reached an agreement with the 54-time Scottish champions which has seen him earn wages worth £9,100-per-week per the terms of his contract, that means he earns more than first-team regular starter Glen Kamara, despite the fact he has made less than half of his appearances so far this season.
Gerrard has insisted Jones can still play a big part in the light blue jersey after a difficult debut campaign.
However, the Northern Ireland international has largely failed to live up to these lofty expectations, with just one goal and two assists in his past 19 appearances for the club in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker Noel Whelan believes Jones and his colleague George Edmundson are heading for the exit after breaching COVID rules, with the winter transfer market set to open in just under a month’s time.
He said: “You cannot change Gerrard’s mind now. I think they will go in January.
“If you do not meet the criteria and the standards required to be a regular in the first team then, unfortunately you need to look somewhere else.”
Jones had been named in the squad for three of their first eight fixtures across all competitions, but is yet to feature for the first team since the 2-0 win over Livingston in the Scottish Premiership.
In fact, his chances have been few and far between under Gerrard even prior to his latest transgression, as the Ibrox boss has only deemed it necessary to start him just twice in the top flight, whilst he was axed from the Europa League squad to make room for new summer recruit Bongani Zungu.
Both of his starts came against lower-level opposition in Motherwell and Premiership strugglers Ross County respectively as Rangers ran out the winners on both occasions before he was left on the bench as an unused substitute during the first Old Firm derby of the season.
Gerrard may have already decided against giving Jones another chance anyway as Kemar Roofe has made a home for himself on the right wing, with 8 goals and an assist in his past 14 games in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Roofe’s emergence on the right wing coupled with Ianis Hagi’s breakthrough campaign last season must surely prove to be the final straw in deciding his fate, as Gerrard simply cannot afford to put his faith in the Northern Irishman anymore.