Martyn Waghorn can’t do right for doing wrong at the moment. The much-maligned striker may have halved the deficit with a well-taken clipped finish as Rangers went down 2-1 at home to Aberdeen in a predictably fiery Scottish Premiership clash on Wednesday.
However, Waghorn’s performance did little to sate the growing feeling that Rangers would be better off resorting to the old taking the money and run tactic if the likes of Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Sunderland follow through on reported interest this summer, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Nonetheless, it appears that it's Barrie McKay, his more naturally gifted team-mate this is more likely to get the chop this summer. But why is the bumbling Waghorn seemingly safe while the 22-year-old's future is shrouded in doubt?
Despite Waghorn netting his 16th goal of a statistically impressive season as The Dons made Pedro Caixinha choke on his pre-match bravado at Ibrox, his overall performance once again did little to suggest that he should play a major role in the Portuguese’s attempted revolution.
Clumsy and seemingly lacking the technical ability to fit into Caixinha’s gameplan, it appears that there would be few tears shed among the Rangers fanbase if Waghorn was indeed moved on this summer.
However, the former Sunderland prospect can take solace in knowing that his first-team opportunities do not appear to be drying up any time soon.
Waghorn or McKay?
While more technically gifted players like McKay (below) and Emerson Hyndman were dropped or even subbed at half time on occasions, Waghorn remains a regular starter – even if he did have to wait until the interval to replace the disappointing Joe Dodoo against Aberdeen.
Caixinha told the Daily Record on Tuesday that 22-year-old McKay had to do far more to earn a new contract at the club. The winger admitted recently that he would sign an extended deal with his contract running out next season. However, it appears that he should take a leaf out of Waghorn's book.
Because, for all his limitations, it appears that Waghorn’s work rate and relentless tracking and hassling has at least earned him some degree of leeway with Caixinha.