By Adefunmiloye Alani

3rd Sep, 2021 | 8:10pm

Barjonas insists Rangers have so many good midfielders amid Stephen Kelly struggles

Jamie Barjonas left Rangers for Kelty Hearts this year after 13 years and is hoping to work his way back up to the top of the Scottish football pyramid.

The 22-year-old midfielder linked up with former Bears B-team coach Kevin Thomson at the Scottish League Two side, and has spoken about his struggles at Ibrox and that of his former teammate Stephen Kelly.

The 21-year-old midfielder is currently struggling to get game time at Rangers, and Barjonas reckons the presence of many quality players in the position means that was always going to happen.

“He’s kind of in the position I was in. I think he is held in a lot higher regard than I was,” the Kelty Hearts man told The Athletic about Kelly.

“Stevie is one of the best I’ve played with as well. Off the pitch he’s so dedicated, he’s always in the gym.

“He’s a lot like Glen Kamara, but probably with more attacking threat. When I was younger, he’d score all the time. He’d get hat-tricks in some games. He could do everything. He could drop off and get the ball and then, two minutes later, he was up the other end putting one in the top corner.

“I think he’s good enough to play in this Rangers team just now but it’s the same problem. There are just so many midfielders — good midfielders.”

Tough competition

Rangers have Joe Aribo, Steven Davis, Kamara, Scott Arfield, John Lundstram and Juninho Bacuna all jostling for playing chances in midfield, with Nnamdi Ofoborh also expected to challenge for a place when he regains full fitness.

With up to five players ahead of him in the pecking order, Kelly will struggle to see regular playing opportunities as he would have wished for this term.

Steven Gerrard’s side are playing in four different competitions, and he could still get his chance to impress, though.

Kelly spent last season on loan at Ross County, featuring in 25 Scottish Premiership games.

Another temporary exit could be on the cards in January, depending on how things go between now and then.

Barjonas knows all about the struggles having spent time on loan before eventually leaving Ibrox, and his friend needs to be on top of his game and put in his best performances anytime he is called upon if he wants to make the grade at the club.

In other Rangers news, Bears ace details why he didn’t leave Ibrox this summer despite interests.