Rangers fans would have been forgiven for wondering what the future holds for Jamie Murphy, with Steven Gerrard already adding Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie to his ranks and being linked with further signings out wide.
Murphy has not played for the Gers since August 2018 after sustaining a serious knee injury on Kilmarnock's Rugby Park pitch. He will be anxious to hit the ground running next season to make up for lost time and prove that he can rediscover the form that he was showing before the injury.
And in some ways, his cause has been helped by a report from The Scottish Sun suggesting that both Hastie and Jake Middleton are set to be loaned out for the coming season.
Of course, with two potential rivals out of the equation, Murphy is likely to enjoy more time out on the pitch. But perhaps, their loan departures will actually only add to the pressure in the long run.
If Middleton and Hastie stay at Ibrox next season, they are likely to only get occasional opportunities to impress, making it difficult for either youngster to build enough momentum to force their way into Gerrard's plans on a regular basis.
But out on loan, both men can become key players as Greg Docherty did at Shrewsbury this past season. If Hastie or Middleton can emulate his success, they have to be in contention for much more prominent roles at Ibrox upon their returns.
That would add to the pressure on Murphy's shoulders to impress this season. With two years left on his contract (via club's official website), his performance this coming year in comparison with both Middleton and Hastie could arguably have a major say on how long Murphy's spell with the Gers lasts.
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