STEVEN Gerrard could consider loaning Jamie Murphy out in order to get him some badly-needed first-team football. The 29-year-old has recently returned from an anterior cruciate ligament injury which kept him sidelined all last season, with the club taking steps to bolster their options on the left flank this week with the arrival of Brandon Barker from Manchester City.

The Englishman feels it could take up to four months to get Murphy back to his best and a loan deal elsewhere is one of the solutions which he is under consideration.

“Murph is a unique situation because he’s missed a year’s football,” said Gerrard. “He’s doing everything he can to get back to the level he was before.

“I think the fascinating and interesting thing is; is Jamie Murphy’s level before good enough to fight for a starting spot here? That’s the challenge for Jamie. We need to help him find the best solution to get back to his peak level, his A-game, as quickly as he can.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he added. “I predict it could take four months. I will have a chat with Jamie and see what we both think is the best thing for him to get there as quickly as we can.

“I think it’s one thing on the agenda. We will give him the support and listen to him first and foremost. If he’s not up for a loan, if he’s not up for reserve games, if he wants to do it through training then we’ll listen to him and as a group we’ll decide. The important thing is that he needs as much football as he can, and at a decent level, to get himself back to where he was. Then he can compete for a place.

“I missed a year with a groin and pelvis issue myself," admitted Gerrard. "In your head you think ‘I’m ready, I’m back’. “You can move like Xabi Alonso and [Javier] Mascherano but then you come up against them in training and they’re popping the ball round you. You’re a yard off. You want to get there but you just can’t.

“I’ll give you a good example of it—Steven Davis last season," the Englishman added. "He didn’t have an ACL injury, wasn’t in the treatment room—he was training. But he wasn’t getting conditioned for game time. He came to Rangers and he’s a fantastic player. He’s a great technician with the ball, we all know about and respect what he’s done. But when he first came here he was a yard off.

“He’d missed a year’s football at the top level, missed the intensity of games like we had in Europe the other night. So Jamie Murphy needs a long run of games with that level of intensity, or close to, to get that last bit, that last spark back.”