Steven Gerrard has a handful of injury concerns to ponder over ahead of Rangers’ clash with St Johnstone at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon, and his problems at centre-forward could pave the way for an unlikely appearance.
Alfredo Morelos is suspended this weekend after being given his marching orders against Aberdeen last time out. On paper, Gerrard is well equipped to deal with his absence, but concerns over Kyle Lafferty and Jermain Defoe could leave him desperately short of options at centre-forward.
Ahead of the game, Gerrard confirmed that both of the aforementioned forwards are doubts, per Rangers’ official website, and he has held back 17-year-old Dapo Mebude from international duty in case he finds himself without his three main senior options.
While the Rangers boss will naturally be concerned by a potential mini injury crisis, his glowing verdict on Mebude suggests he has the ability to make the step up.
“I think he’s got a huge future, huge potential. He’s probably not ready to be thrown into the deep end just yet but I think he would certainly be ready for a cameo.
“He’s come into training and not looked out of place on numerous occasions now. I think the players have taken to him, but there is no doubt about it, he’ll play for Rangers at some point.”
That Mebude has managed to enjoy himself in senior training and cope at that standard is telling about his promise.
Of course, he has a long way to go at just 17-years-of-age, but the fact Gerrard believes he’s ready for a cameo suggests it might not be too long before he’s ready to make a permanent step up into the senior squad.
The weekend clash could provide Mebude with a chance to showcase his talent off the substitutes bench in the event Lafferty and Defoe are ruled out, and it will be highly intriguing to see how he performs if he does indeed make his senior debut.