Steven Gerrard may have surprised some Rangers fans recently when he suggested, in comments reported by The Scottish Sun, that Umar Sadiq has improved significantly lately and given him something to think about.
Sadiq has endured a miserable loan spell thus far, having only made a handful of substitute appearances for the Gers and none since mid-August. All signs pointed towards Rangers sending the young striker back to Roma in the January transfer window.
But Gerrard's comments suggest that he may have given himself a lifeline for his Ibrox loan. And when you couple that with a potentially-interesting image from one of the Gers' latest training sessions, it appears that the manager may indeed have the 21-year-old on the periphery of his plans.
In one of the images from the club's training gallery tweet, Sadiq can be seen working alongside Gerrard in the same drill. It appears that the pair may be working together in a game of piggy in the middle.
While the pair working together is not particularly intriguing on its own, it must be noted that all of the other players in the image have been mainstays in Gerrard's squad this season.
The likes of Alfredo Morelos, Nikola Katic and Daniel Candeias are all working in the same group as the manager and Sadiq, while Connor Goldson, James Tavernier and Kyle Lafferty find themselves amongst the other group doing the same drill.
The fact that there are no other fringe players seemingly involved certainly hints that Sadiq may now be in Gerrard's plans, especially given his recent comments.
And when you consider that the Gers will contest their League Cup semi-final next weekend without Morelos and Lafferty, perhaps it may not be out of the question to suggest that Sadiq could soon be given the ideal stage to show how great his recent transformation has actually been.