Photo by Paul Greenwood – CameraSport via Getty Images

It was a goal straight out of the Steven Gerrard playbook as, picking up the ball just outside the centre circle, Joe Rothwell drove infield, played the ball into Sam Gallagher’s feet and just kept going – reminiscent of the Rangers manager.

Storming into the penalty area, he controlled the return pass beautifully and, at full pace, clipped the most subtle of finishes over the Coventry City goalkeeper – power, purpose and poise, all at once. 

Your Club’s Player Who Newcastle ‘WILL SIGN’

Your Club’s Player Who Newcastle ‘WILL SIGN’

“We’ve all seen Joe being that player who can damage any team in this league,” said Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray after the game. 

As far as Mowbray is concerned, there has never been any doubt about Rothwell’s ability.  

And that’s why Blackburn are desperate to extend a contract that expires at the end of this season.

Rangers eye Blackburn star Joe Rothwell

It’s the same reason Rangers are circling a player who, during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Coventry, stamped his authority on the game with the kind of barnstorming, all-action display Gerrard produced on countless occasions in his playing career (The Sun).

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The frustration, however, is displays like that tend to happen once in a blue-and-white moon. 

“We all want to see more of it on a consistent basis and he gets challenged on a daily basis about what the top players are doing in this league from midfield,” Mowbray adds.

“The goals they score, how many assists they have, how they impact a game, things like that. 

“If Joe wants to be a top player in this league or the Premier League, he has to not just look good on the eye by running with the ball and beating the odd man.” 

As Rothwell weighs up his future at Ewood Park, Mowbray’s warning is one he must heed. It’s unlikely Gerrard, or a demanding Rangers fanbase for that matter, would accept an occasional star turn sandwiched by weeks of mediocrity. 

Rothwell must prove his latest man of the match performance is the start of something rather than another fleeting false dawn.

Here’s what some supporters on Twitter thought of Rothwell’s display:

Photo by Paul Greenwood – CameraSport via Getty Images

In other news, Our View: Tottenham have perfect chance to land £50m flyer, by including Joe Rodon