By Jason Jones

19th Dec, 2019 | 7:51pm

'I actually rate him' - Alan Hutton defends 'very unlucky' Rangers player as exit rumours mount

Steven Gerrard has made no bones about it, there will be outgoings at Ibrox next month.

The Rangers boss made the admission during a press conference on Thursday, as per the Gers’ official Twitter account, and while he didn’t name any names specifically, reports from various sources have seemingly outlined which players could end up facing the axe.

Amongst those repeatedly touted is Jamie Murphy, as per Football Insider, with the 30-year-old striker understood to be available for a loan exit or a permanent move away from Glasgow.

But ex-Blues defender Alan Hutton is hopeful that he still has a long term future with the Gers.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I actually rate him.

“He’s been very unlucky with his injury and it’s always difficult to come back from something like that.

“Personally, looking in from the outside, I think going out on loan will be good for him as I do believe he’s got ability and I do believe he can bring something to the Rangers team when his confidence is up.

“So I think maybe going away, playing games, going somewhere that he is going to play every week, not somewhere where he will be in and out, build up his confidence…”

And while Hutton makes some salient points here, you have to ask when and where the line must be drawn.

Granted, Murphy has been desperately unlucky with injury since he arrived at Ibrox, and the fact that he has made just 29 appearances in just under two years really illustrates just how unfortunate he has been.

But let’s not forget, even when he has been fully fit and firing, this is a player who has failed to hit double figures in a league campaign since 2014/15 while he was playing for Sheffield United, as per Transfermarkt.

Now, at the age of 30, and with a sick note longer than a phonebook, and with a whole barrage of younger, more reliable attacking talent ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s difficult to see a way back for him at Ibrox.

He may have ability, but so does everybody else at this level, and as a disappointing as it may be, now is surely the time to move Murphy toward the exit door.