Alan Hutton believes Rangers attacker Brandon Barker was struggling with an injury before he was forced off in the win over Dundee United.

The former Gers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has revealed the 23-year-old had him scratching his head as he failed to use his “explosive” pace to take on the defence at Ibrox.

The former Manchester City man lasted 23 minutes before he was substituted and Steven Gerrard has since confirmed he will be “missing in the short-term with a calf problem”.

Hutton, who was at Ibrox as part of Rangers TV’s coverage, revealed he wanted to get a good look at Barker in the flesh.

However, the former Gers man admits he suspects the winger was struggling with a problem before he pulled up for good.

Hutton told Football Insider: “I actually watched him, we were talking about him before the game and I wanted to watch him up close. For me, he didn’t really take on the full-back an awful lot, for someone with such pace I was wondering why he’s not running at him.

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“He did it once, which was fine and he looked explosive but to me it looked as though he was holding back a little bit.

“Whether he felt it before, I’m not sure, but then he was asked the question, he knocked it by somebody and he asked the guy the question, can he get to the other side and he pulled up instantly.

“I knew right away, I’m saying: ‘He’s done his hamstring here.’ Whether he was feeling it a bit before because I was wondering why he wasn’t taking on his full-back an awful lot.

“It’s a shame, Gerrard’s stuck with him, he’s given him a lot of game time and he understands he can create that with his pace, something different with his pace so he’s given him the opportunity.

“It looks like another one that’s going to be out for many weeks and it’s a real shame for him, just as he gets back in the team.” 

In other Rangers news, the Light Blues are in talks to sign a 20-goal/assist star who has wowed Hutton.