Rangers loanee Glenn Middleton sent Steven Gerrard a timely reminder of his abilities on Sunday afternoon, as he produced a superb display.
The 21-year-old has spent the second half of the season on loan with Callum Davidson’s St Johnstone side, although he has struggled for regular game time in the Premiership, making just two starts, which had perhaps cast his future at Ibrox in doubt ahead of next season.
During the first half of the season with Rangers, Middleton would make just one substitute appearance in a 4-0 win against Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup, so he clearly wasn’t deemed good enough to be part of Gerrard’s squad this season.
Gerrard already has a number of talented young wingers in his squad, with Ryan Kent, Joe Aribo and Ianis Hagi all impressing this season, whilst Scott Wright’s promising cameos suggest that he will be in the frame for a regular starting spot next season.
Therefore, Middleton, who is contracted with Rangers until 2023, may well struggle to force his way into Gerrard’s plans for next season, as it seems fair to suggest that his lack of appearances with the Saints does not bode well for his future at Ibrox.
However, the Scotland U21 international reminded everyone what he is capable of at Hampden Park, as he came off the bench to have a starring role in St Johnstone’s victory in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
Middleton provided the assist for Chris Kane’s opening goal on 72 minutes, just moments after coming on, as he crossed for the striker who found the bottom corner.
Two minutes later, he earned himself a free-kick around 30 yards from goal and superbly found the top corner, which proved to be the winning goal after Conor McCarthy got one back for St Mirren.
During the game, Premier Sports pundit Stephen Craigan was full of praise for the free-kick and Middleton’s impact from the bench, saying:
“Oh my word. That is absolutely sensational.
“The pace on the ball, the movement, the dip, it’s absolutely top class. Glenn Middleton, what an impact sub, that’s the way to repay the faith in your manager.”
Therefore, after being something of an outcast at Rangers this season, perhaps this display will send a message to Gerrard that if he puts his faith in Middleton next season, he may well be able to reproduce performances like these in a Rangers shirt.
And, in other news… Gerrard could be set for huge boost next season after major Wilson update