Later this afternoon, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is expected to issue an update on the availability of Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent.
There is certainly a clamour for the return of both players after the terrible result and performance against Union Saint Gilloise in the Champions League on Tuesday that leaves the chance of progression in the balance.
Both players are key figures in this Rangers team, but their recent absence has highlighted the increased dependability on the pair. Is it too much or too soon in this campaign to draw a conclusion? The truth is somewhere in between.
Without ‘The Buffalo’, Rangers found a way to cope domestically in the final months of last season but the loss of Morelos’ impact was clear. Making the journey all the way to Seville for the Europa League Final without him was remarkable and a credit to GvB for his ability to chop and change, in navigating all the way to the final. That adaptability also has its negatives as we witnessed just days ago.
It is a worry how much Rangers struggle without the Colombian international and five years on from his signing, no striker comes close. That is a reality and a reflection on the recruitment at the club ever since.
As with Kent, he is the main man due to his quality, threat and ability to do what no one else can. He was sorely missed against USG but there has been a bit of an overreaction to both players not being available due to the shock and damaging result.
Rangers should have had enough to secure a positive result in Leuven but that responsibility is on the team who severely under-performed as well as the manager for not making the required changes soon enough, to a tactical plan that wasn’t fit for purpose.
Hopefully the update on both players is a positive one with a return to action ahead against Kilmarnock or at least for the return leg against the Belgians on Tuesday. We could all do with a lift but inside Ibrox over the next two games, the onus is on Gio and the team to right the wrongs of a lacklustre start to the competitive season.
It’s over to you.