Fan Theory: It’s time to play Rangers winger Glenn Middleton as a striker

One Rangers fan on the forum of the Follow Follow fanzine believes that the club should consider using Glenn Middleton as a centre-forward.

The comment came on the back of a reserve outing for the 19-year-old where he scored two goals, taking his tally to eight in his previous five matches.

In his 28 first-team appearances in all competitions for the Glasgow giants this term, the teenager has largely featured on either wing, but primarily on the left-hand side.

So is this supporter on to something, and does Steven Gerrard need to listen?

The positives

Firstly, he can obviously finish as shown by his recent goal glut, as well as the fact he has five in 28 outings for the first team – the large majority of which have come from the substitutes’ bench.

Middleton is clearly a clever player with good movement who can drag defenders around, and if he was playing in attack with Alfredo Morelos for example he would surely create more space for the Colombian to work in.

He also has the pace to cause centre-backs big issues and to be played in behind, while he is deceivably strong, too.

The negatives

While he has been in great form for the reserves, putting in those consistent performances with the seniors is a completely different story – but then unless he is given an opportunity how will we know?

The other issue is that Gerrard would likely have to play two up top to make it work given he also has Morelos and Jermain Defoe in his ranks.

Pairing those two together earlier in 2019 failed miserably and he has since returned to his favoured 4-3-3 system, so the former Liverpool captain would have to take a big risk by reverting back to that and then leaving one of his more experienced players out.

Verdict

It would be a gamble, but Gerrard has the perfect opportunity to deploy it right now.

With Morelos injured and the league title gone, he should name Defoe and Middleton together and see what happens – it could even result in an effective plan B for next season.