By Alan Hutton

12th May, 2021 | 10:00am

Simpson predicted to start for Rangers tonight after double injury blow - Hutton

Jack Simpson has a rare opportunity to stake his claim for a starting role at Rangers next season, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Gers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 24-year-old could rise up from fourth-choice in the Ibrox pecking order before the season is over.

As confirmed by Steven Gerrard on Tuesday, both Filip Helander and Leon Balogun will miss the Gers’ final two games of the campaign through injury.

Gerrard has swapped between the pair alongside Connor Goldson at centre-back this season, with the Brighton man an ever-present at the back.

However, their respective absences has led to Simpson getting a rare run in the starting XI.

With Helander and Balogun confirmed out until pre-season, Hutton insisted the January arrival had a rare chance to stake his claim in the side.

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Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “This is what he’s been waiting for, an opportunity. It’s obviously been difficult, he’s been lower in the pecking order at the moment.

“We saw him come in and play a high stakes game against Celtic and really be commanding. So we’ve seen a little of what he can give to the team. It’s about building on that.

“There’s no point in putting on one good performance, you need to keep going. Especially at Rangers, the standards are very high so it’s about being consistent. It’s another opportunity for him to go and show that.

“I think he’s got all the attributes to be a fantastic centre-half. Playing on that left side, it’s that place where it’s always Connor Goldson plus one. He’s fighting it out with the likes of Helander, Balogun sometimes, to be in that starting berth. 

“He’s definitely got what it takes to be there so it’s about the next two games, showing the manager: ‘I’m ready for next season and I’ve got what it takes to be a starter.'” 

Simpson has started Rangers’ last two league games, his only starts for the club so far.

He has made just five appearances for the Glasgow giants to date.

Meanwhile, Helander and Balogun have played 31 and 28 times respectively this term.

In other news, Rangers tipped to offer big-name star new role after major news out of Ibrox.