Rangers: One last chance for Jordan Jones?

Steven Gerrard has enjoyed many success stories since first stepping into the Ibrox dugout back in the summer of 2018, but like every manager that has come before him, he has also overseen a handful of negatives.

More often than not, these negative issues arrive in the form of tactical mishaps or poor game management, but every now and then there is a transfer that, for one reason or another, just doesn’t quite work out.

And that is exactly where one of Gerrard’s greatest failures resides, in the form of Northern Ireland winger Jordan Jones, who joined the club from Kilmarnock last summer.

That said, only a small part of the blame lies with the boss, with the player also shouldering a large share of the responsibility.

Even the transfer itself was clouded by controversy, with Jones expressing his joy at sealing his “dream move” to Ibrox after signing a pre-contract agreement in January 2019.

It was a statement that angered Killie fans, not least because a large chunk of the season still remained, alongside the fact that they were losing their star player to a league rival.

The story took another twist not long after as the attacker then scored the winning goal against his future club in a 2-1 victory at Rugby Park.

But after over 100 appearances for the Ayrshire outfit, he sealed his switch to Rangers in June 2019, making an immediate impact with assists in the Europa League qualifying victories against FC Midtjylland and Legia Warsaw.

The former Middlesbrough man was also impressing at international level by this stage, regularly featuring on the left for Northern Ireland under Michael O’Neil.

But just weeks later came the arrival of Celtic at Ibrox for the first Old Firm of the season, bringing with it a day that will live long in the memory of Jones and indeed many Gers supporters for all the wrong reasons.

Just 20 minutes remained when the hosts were 1-0 down and the winger was brought on to turn the game on its head.

But in a moment of madness that only the player himself can attempt to justify, a wild lounge on Moritz Bauer left referee Bobby Madden with no choice but to show a straight red card.

Unfortunately for the Rangers man, it was the least of his worries, with a knee injury sustained during the horror tackle causing him to miss several months of action.

Upon returning from injury, he played just 62 competitive minutes in the rest of the campaign.

Fast forward to this season and the 25-year-old is yet to don the famous blue jersey, with his spot on the bench against St Mirren, Hamilton and Hibs the closest he has come to any action on the pitch.

With the transfer window deadline of October 5 fast approaching, rumours continue to circulate regarding the attacker’s future, with QPR, Preston and former side Middlesbrough all reportedly keen on his signature.

But Jones may want one more shot at redemption in Glasgow, and it could yet still arrive with the club challenging on several fronts this season.

The fixtures coming thick and fast may provide another boost for the player’s opportunities, but whether or not Gerrard is willing to give Jones one last chance is another matter entirely.