Jackie McNamara has cast major doubt over the future of Rangers winger Jamie Murphy as he closes in on a return from his serious injury layoff.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland international says that the 29-year-old has been unlucky with his fitness problems, having been ruled for the majority of last season with a cruciate ligament injury.
A winger with the ability to play on either wing, Murphy has seen manager Steven Gerrard bring in a number of alternative options this summer in the shape of Sheyi Ojo, Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie.
With Murphy linked with a loan move away from Ibrox, McNamara says the added competition could spell the end for the former Brighton star if the club fails to seal a place in the Europa League group stages.
McNamara told Football Insider: “Obviously he picked up a bad injury so that’s part of the problem with him.
“He was good when he first went there but he’s been unfortunate with injuries, the artificial pitch has cost him a place in the team. Steven’s brought in other players in that position – Jordan Jones, Sheyi Ojo, Jake Hastie – so that’s made it more difficult for him and if he has a future.
“If he has domestic and European games to feature in, he’ll (Gerrard) need a squad. If they don’t (get through) they don’t need as many players.”
Since joining from Brighton on an initial loan back in January 2018, Murphy has played 27 times for the Light Blues, netting six goals and setting up an impressive 13 assists.
He is vastly experienced in the Scottish Premiership thanks to his time at Motherwell, with 188 top-flight games under his belt.