Steven Gerrard has confirmed his Rangers squad for the knockout stages of the Europa League, with no place on the list for Jordan Jones, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
Teams are allowed to make three changes from their group stage squad for the knockout rounds, as per UEFA’s tournament regulations, with Andy King (no longer at Ibrox), Filip Helander (injured until at least early March) and Jon Flanagan all removed from the list by Gerrard (as per The Scottish Sun).
Jones, who was also left out of the squad for the group stage, had been linked with a loan move to Middlesbrough in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Record, who claimed that Blackburn and Stoke were also interested in the 25-year-old.
The winger had featured in several games for Rangers in the early weeks of the season but the knee injury he picked up in fouling Celtic’s Moritz Bauer and being sent off in the derby in September proved fateful. He did not return to action for four and a half months after that incident and, he has barely featured since his comeback against Stranraer in the Scottish Cup. He has not scored in 13 appearances this season, although he had provided two assists.
Who should have Rangers signed?
While Jones was again overlooked by Gerrard for the Europa League, fellow winger Brandon Barker has kept his place in the squad from the group stage. That is despite the 23-year-old making only five Premiership appearances this season and playing just once so far in 2020, coming on as a substitute against Stranraer (as per TransferMarkt).
The ex-Manchester City man was criticised by some Rangers fans recently after the Daily Record claimed that he is earning more than £10,000 per week at Ibrox despite struggling for first team recognition. He has scored once this season in 11 appearances but that goal came against Livingston back in September.
Neither Barker nor Jones have featured much for Rangers this season and while the former has at least been kept in the Europa League squad, the latter’s omission in favour of another winger who has struggled for first team minutes should be alarming for him.
With every passing game in which Jones is overlooked by Gerrard, he could well look back on that injury-causing red card tackle against Celtic with ever-greater regret, for that increasingly seems to be proving a turning point for the worse in his Ibrox career.
Rangers fans, do you think Jones’ omission from the Europa League squad in favour of Barker is a sign that Gerrard doesn’t see a future for him at Ibrox? Comment below with your views!
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