Glasgow Rangers manager Steven Gerrard’s hopes of snapping up Jacob Murphy have been dealt a huge blow, with recent reports revealing Newcastle United are prepared to offer the former Norwich City star a new deal.
According to Football Insider, Steve Bruce wants Murphy to remain at St James’ Park to stay and fight for a place in the starting line-up, having ruled out a loan exit for the winger amid interest from Rangers in the summer.
It’s claimed that the club want to give the Englishman a new and improved contract to fend off interest from elsewhere, with Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City in the race to sign him in the winter transfer window.
So Rangers chief Ross Wilson must act swiftly if Gerrard is to finally get his long-term target in January.
Murphy himself was thought to be keen on a move to the 54-time Scottish champions, yet now looks set to extend his stay in Tyneside for the foreseeable future. But there is still time for the 25-year-old, who currently earns wages worth £25,000-per-week, to sign a pre-contract agreement to join the Gers on a permanent basis next summer.
Wilson signed forwards Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe on four-year-deals for undisclosed fees in the summer to bolster the firepower at Gerrard’s disposal. Whilst Roofe has been in such fine form, as he has even started on the right wing in recent weeks, it’s fair to say that Itten has been unable to hit the ground running, with a tally of just two goals in total to his name.
The ever-reliable Ryan Kent is one of the first names on the team sheet but if there’s one area the Gers urgently need to improve, it’s the opposite flank, as both Brandon Barker and Ianis Hagi have struggled for consistency at times so far this season. And that’s without even mentioning Jordan Jones, who is deemed surplus to requirements having been suspended by the Light Blues after breaching COVID rules.
Once lauded as a “fantastic” beast by former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan, in five appearances in the Premier League this season, Murphy has scored one goal, whilst he is averaging 1.2 shots and 2 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
By comparison, both Barker and Jones are managing fewer than one dribble per game in the Scottish Premiership, as per WhoScored, which implies that the former England U21 international would be an immediate upgrade on both Barker and Jones at Ibrox.
Given his age, he still has plenty of time left to continue his development as a player, whilst his strengths lie in his strong finishing and being able to take set-pieces. He’s certainly not just a pacey winger, his versatility could add some much-needed depth to the squad, as he can play on either wing. We’d love to see him don the light blue, that’s for sure.