By Nick Ware

10th May, 2021 | 7:05am

Chris Sutton and Michael Stewart debate Glenn Middleton's Rangers future

Glenn Middleton was the Scottish Cup hero for St Johnstone on Sunday afternoon but there is a big decision to be made over his Rangers career.

That was the view of Chris Sutton and Michael Stewart during Premier Sports coverage of the match, as both pundits waxed lyrical about the 21-year-old after his free-kick helped his loan side to a 2-1 semi-final win over St Mirren.

Middleton joined the Saints in January on a temporary deal until the end of the season, and his Ibrox contract does not expire until 2023. [Transfermarkt]

“He made the right decision going out on loan,” Sutton said in quotes reported on the Daily Record website.

“He wasn’t going to get a game at Rangers and getting game time at St Johnstone and really improving the team this season has benefited him.

“He made an impact – he was the big difference. He made the goal and the free kick was exceptional and a big decision is to be made.”

Stewart added, “When you see performances like that you can understand why teams are interested in getting him in to their squad.

“He’s still young and the important thing for a wide, creative player is just to bring a bit more consistency because the performance level is there and just needs to come more often and he would have plenty of options to go to.”

One more loan?

With a couple of years left on his contract there’s no great urgency to cash in on Middleton this summer.

It’s unlikely he will return to Auchenhowie in pre-season and immediately set about earning a place in the Light Blues first-team squad, so it would make sense to allow the young winger to ply his trade elsewhere once again during the next campaign.

There’s clearly an abundance of potential still waiting to be unlocked and therefore sanctioning his permanent exit from the club could end up being a foolish decision.

Loaning him out once more, possibly back to St Johnstone, could be a smart move to ensure he gains regular game time to improve his abilities, ready for a Rangers return in 2022, or to boost his value ahead of finally selling him.

He had a slow start to his Saints career but he’s now got three goals in his last six games, and they’ve all been match-winners.

Middleton is beginning to make his mark in Scotland, and that can only be good news for Rangers.

In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton hits back at BT pundit claim in shock defence of Gers star.