Rangers slipped to their third successive Champions League defeat away at Anfield on Tuesday evening, with the Old Firm giants having made a miserable start to life back in Europe’s premier competition.
A key issue in that defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side had been the disappointing performance of summer signing Malik Tillman, with the on-loan Bayern Munich gem failing to make a telling impact at both ends of the pitch on the night.
The 20-year-old lost possession seven times from his 18 touches in that miserable outing, while also winning just two of his five ground duels and failing to win any of his two aerial duels before being hooked after 66 minutes.
While the playmaker had been deployed somewhat out of position in a right midfield berth, that tactical tweak was no excuse for his “shocking” performance – in the words of pundit Neil McCann – having looked as if he “wasn’t trying” against the Premier League outfit.
After a bright start to life at Ibrox – notably providing two goal contributions in just four games during Champions League qualifying – the £1.35m-rated youngster has somewhat struggled in recent weeks, having been restricted to a substitute role in the past two league games.
Having been unable to convince following his recall to the starting XI, it could well be time for Gers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst to bring in a fresh face to the side moving forward, with young Arron Lyall one emerging prospect who could make an impact.
The 19-year-old has sparkled for the Glasgow side’s ‘B’ team so far this season, with five goals and two assists from just eight games in all competitions, proving his attacking talent in his usual right-wing berth.
The promising Scotsman is yet to feature at senior level for the club thus far, although has previously showcased his quality on loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle during the tail end of the 2020/21 season, having been dubbed an “exciting young player” at the time by the aforementioned McCann.
The teenager had earned rave reviews during Steven Gerrard’s time in charge, with the club having been ‘excited’ about the then 16-year-old, according to Football Insider.
Amid Tillman’s recent woes – and with new addition Tom Lawrence set for an extended spell on the sidelines – it could well be an ideal time for Lyall to be handed a chance in the coming weeks, with his only taste of life in the first-team having come as an unused substitute in the Europa League last season, during the qualifying stage.
With games coming thick and fast this month, Van Bronckhorst will need to rotate and shuffle his pack accordingly, hence the potential for the talented forward to now be unleashed.