With Rangers announcing on their official website in the summer that Ryan Hardie had agreed a one-year deal to run until the end of this season, it seemed clear that the Gers were suggesting that as impressed as they had been with his form out on loan last term, they still had their doubts as to whether he was going to make the grade at Ibrox.
The one-year contract extension announcement was swiftly followed by the news that he had returned to Livingston on loan. That appeared to be a golden opportunity for the 21-year-old after he helped Livi reach the Scottish Premiership last season.
It was always going to take a while for Hardie to get back into the fold after seeing his season end prematurely due to an injury that also kept him sidelined at the start of this campaign.
But unfortunately for Hardie, his time with Livingston has still not gone to plan, with just one substitute appearance coming so far. Needless to say, he is yet to score this season.
It is too soon to suggest that Hardie's Rangers career is finished. But his lack of game-time does perhaps make it imperative that he enjoys a superb run of form at some stage of the campaign, especially with Andy Dallas winning plenty of admirers at Ibrox.
Dallas is putting together a fantastic run for the youth sides, with 10 goals coming in his last seven appearances, including a hat-trick against Hamburg recently.
With Alfredo Morelos performing superbly and Kyle Lafferty also available, Steven Gerrard probably does not feel that he needs a large group of strikers in his squad, and thus, Dallas could have a genuine case to be considered Rangers' third choice forward ahead of Umar Sadiq.
And if Dallas continues to perform at his current level and even gets a couple of opportunities to be involved with the first-team squad, then perhaps Rangers will feel slightly more assured about the idea of letting Hardie leave when his current deal runs down.
Hardie has more than enough time and potential to put together the kind of streak that could seemingly change Rangers' mind again, but Dallas is arguably threatening to make his chances of an Ibrox future look slimmer.