COMMENT By James Black
Rangers take on St. Johnstone on Friday night at McDiarmid Park and, not for the first time, Michael O’Halloran will be nowhere near the action.
SPFL rules mean the 26-year-old – who is currently on loan with the Saints – can take no part against his parent club.
The attacker, who has been in a rich vein of form for Tommy Wright’s side, has simply not been good enough since Mark Warburton paid £400,000 to bring him to Ibrox in January 2016.
Pedro Caixinha has previously made it clear that the player isn’t part of his Ibrox plans but in truth, the player’s Rangers career has been over since he no-showed an Under-20’s game in April.
After failing to show up at Stirling Albion’s Forthbank Stadium for the Under-20 clash with Hearts, O’Halloran has been persona non grata with the Ibrox hierarchy.
Even going back to before that, O’Halloran quite simply hadn’t been anywhere near good enough since his move from St. Johnstone.
O’Halloran’s biggest asset is widely accepted to be his pace but, for whatever reason, whenever he was spotted in a Rangers jersey he looked like he was towing a caravan.
Admittedly, he has been in good goalscoring form since leaving Rangers on loan however he won’t be the first – or last – player who moves to a smaller club and rediscovers the form that won him a move to Ibrox in the first place.
Some will argue that he was never given a fair crack of the whip at Ibrox and should have been given more opportunities to prove his worth, however, when he was given that chance – like against Hearts’ Under-20’s – he was nowhere to be found.
Who knows, he could go on to be St. Johnstone’s best player this season but it would do little to change the fact that when he was a Rangers player he couldn’t cut it.
O’Halloran’s Rangers contract ends in 2020 but, barring a massive change in circumstances, he won’t – and shouldn’t – play for the club again.
In other Rangers news, Caixinha was blown away by four Rangers youngsters in the closed-doors friendly with Morton.