Jamie Murphy damaged his knee ligaments back in August of last year and is yet to return to first team action but it looks as if the waiting is over for the 29-year-old and he could be set to be a big part of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers plans going forward.
After a promising start at the club he supported as a boy Murphy’s season was over just about as quickly as it had started. Having signed in the January prior to Gerrard arriving at Ibrox the winger had lit up the Premiership and was looking every bit the £1 million player they had paid for but thanks to an innocuous incident on the plastic pitch at Rugby Park his good start soon counted for little as he was ruled out for the best part of a year.
Yet it looks like Murphy is fit and ready to go for the upcoming season and as the old adage goes ‘he’ll be like a new signing’. Ryan Kent and James Tavernier were the only two real creative outlets for a side who scored a good amount of goals yet struggled to break sides down- especially in the first half of the season– if either of the two Englishmen weren’t up to scratch.
Murphy’s return to fitness could prove timely with Kent’s return to the club unclear. Despite the signings of Sheyi Ojo, Jordan Jones and Greg Stewart you do feel the team lacks a proper creative player- someone like Callum Mcgregor on the green side of Glasgow. Scott Arfield has done well drifting in from the left but could do well to start in a more central position to allow for more attacking players on the park.
Murphy was on fire during his first six months at Ibrox, producing an incredible return of five goals and 10 assists in just 19 games. If he could even come close to replicating that form next season he could take Rangers up a few levels and allow them to challenge Celtic and make more of a dent in the domestic cups.
Gerrard would be wise to use the winger carefully- and thanks to his large squad he has the options to rotate- to allow him to get back to 100% at his own pace rather than rush him into every Europa League qualifier and risk his knee ligaments again. It’s difficult to not get excited about the return of Murphy and you just hope he doesn’t suffer from a similar injury any time soon, as has often been the case with serious knee injuries to tricky forwards.