Where Can Rangers Strengthen In The Summer?

As the curtain closes on the 2018/19 season, Rangers have completed yet another trophy less season which is nothing short of unacceptable for such a big side. But where do Steven Gerrards rangers need to improve in order to compete at the top next season? Here are 5 players i think Rangers should sign this summer.

1) Ryan Kent

Kent has been nothing short of a revelation for Rangers this season with the Liverpool Loanee getting both Rangers and the PFA Young Player Of The Year. However, the rumours have already started this summer with rumours of a 5.5m, 7.5m and also a loan move have been talked about. But the only option for Rangers seems to be a Loan with Gerrard confirming that they have put in a loan offer for the Englishman. This deal is very likely to happen and I think it will be an Important singing for the Gers.

Likelihood Of Happening: 9/10

Ryan Kent celebrating his goal vs celtic.

2) Danny Welbeck

This one seems to be an unlikely one but would be an amazing signing for Gerrards side. The ex Manchester United Striker has had injury troubles of late which has resulted in Arsenal not renewing his contract and letting him go, which means Rangers can take him on a free transfer. I can see this one happening as Rangers have the pull of Gerrard which has brought players like Jermain Defoe, Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic to the club. There has also been some reported interest in the Ex England International by Rangers, as reported by the reliable Rangers source, 4 Lads Had A Dream. This one is the most unlikely of the 5 but could still happen and should not be ruled out.

Likelihood Of Happening: 4/10

3) John Souttar

With McAuley and Worrall leaving the club in the summer, Rangers are in need for a centre half. The Scotland International has made 34 appearances for Hearts this season and reaching the Semi-Final of the Betfred Cup and the Final of the Scottish Cup. Souttar is a solid Defender and should cost no more than 1.5m for the Glasgow Giants. However is unlikely to happen due to Rangers high interest in George Edmundson from English League 2 side Oldham Athletic. I think Souttar has been a strong player for the Jam Tarts since his arrival in 2015 from Dundee United and would be a good signing for Rangers.

Likelihood Of Happening: 7/10

4) David Turnbull

The fourth player on this list is David Turnbull. Turnbull is currently playing for fellow SPFL side Motherwell. He has scored an impressive 15 Goals and 6 assists in 31 games this season and he is only 19 years old so can still improve. With Jake Hastie coming to Rangers on a bosman from Motherwell you can see that Jake will try and bring the 19 year old to Govan with him. It is reported that Motherwell only want 1.7m for the midfielder which is a bargain Rangers should be all over.

Likelihood Of Happening: 6/10

5) Joe Aribo

The last player on the list is Joe Aribo. Aribo is another midfielder but is available on a free this summer with his contract at Charlton expiring. Rangers are interested in the Englishman but face competition from Old Firm rivals Celtic, Arsenal, Benfica and Europa League semi finalists Eintracht Frankfurt. With Graham Dorrans and Jordan Rossiter possibly out the door in the summer, Gerrard will want to add to his already strong midfield. The 22 year old has scored 10 Goals and provided 5 Assists in 38 Games for Charlton this season. I think Rangers should try and get this deal done as he would be a great player in scotland.

Likelihood Of Happening: 7/10


Where Did It All Go Wrong For Scottish Football?

069D47A1-11B5-42E3-A2C6-CB2AC87DE0C9Lets look back a few years, Players like Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup and Henrik Larsson were playing in Scotland in their prime. Rangers and Celtic both getting to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003 and 2008 Respectively. Now in 2019, the bottom half of the top tier in scotland will most likely not be able to compete with some teams in the English League 1. Where exactly did it go wrong for Scottish football?

The main reason for the downfall in the Scottish game is money. With big broadcast companies unwilling to put a big sum of money into scottish football due to the lack of quality in some teams, Scotland are quickly falling away from the ‘Big Leagues’, who are gaining at least 6 figure sums a year through TV deals. This causes them to spend money on quality and widen the gap between them and leagues like Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium.

Another big reason for the downfall is the Liquidation of Rangers in 2012. When Rangers got relegated down to the 4th tier Almost all scottish football fans were laughing and joking about it, some still today. But little did they know at the time that it would cause debatably the worst period in scottish football history, sometimes known as ‘The banter years’. During the time of Rangers absence in the top tier, they lost their 2nd Champions League spot and became the laughing stock of british football. They also missed out on a lot of TV money due to the lack of old firm derby’s, which is the main income of the scottish game. Celtic also ran the league every year for the past 8 seasons due to the lack of competitiveness at the top of the table for most of the 8 seasons and have been the only scottish team to make the group stages of a european tournament until the season past where Rangers made the group stages and narrowly missed out on the knockout rounds.

In order for the Scottish premiership to get better as a league, they need to improve both on and off the park. In my opinion, scotland should follow the Dutch eredivise in the clubs qualifying for the european competitions giving 5% of the prize money to the clubs who didn’t qualify. I think that is a brilliant idea and will help the lower teams be able to keep up with the top 6 and make the league more competitive and enjoyable to watch, thus making the TV companies wanting to invest more money into the scottish game. The scottish league is certainly going in the right direction right now but will they be able to keep up with the big leagues in the near future? Only time will tell.

Why Max Lowe is exactly what Rangers need

Max Lowe, 22 spent the 2018/19 season on loan at Aberdeen from English club Derby County, the left back impressed in Scotland with many raving about the young man. Numerous stellar performances at Aberdeen won Lowe the players’ player of the year award against the likes of, Sam Cosgrove, Lewis Ferguson and Gary Mackay-Stevens.

In terms of Rangers’ left back situation they’re a little lacklustre, Borna Barisic who arrived from Osijek was the mainstay in the left back position starting the season strongly with 7 assists in 14 games he quickly asserted himself in the team. Unfortunately for Barisic he suffered an injury which forced him out the team for some time where Jon Flanagan (originally a right back) and Andy Halliday filled the gap. After his return Barisic was reinstated in the team however struggled to find his form putting in a number of poor performances against big teams which saw him axed from the squad for Jon Flanagan. 

It looks like Borna Barisic will be leaving Rangers in the summer with Andy Halliday possibly following him so with only Jon Flanagan the club will have to strengthen in that department and Max Lowe is definitely the best candidate to fill the gap. Rangers will however have to battle the dons to Lowes’ signature and a large fee may be the asking price for the promising youngster. 

Was 2018/19 a success or merely just a step in the right direction for Steven Gerrards’ Rangers?

Steven Gerrards appointment at Rangers in May of last year brought a fair amount of anticipation to Ibrox. This was the Liverpool legends first job in senior management and so there was doubt from all over the country of his ability to steady the ship at Rangers.

Gerrard’s first professional game as manager of Glasgow Rangers came against Macedonian side FC Shkupi in the first round of an impressive Europa League campaign where the hosts ran out 2-0 winners, Gerrard would guide Rangers through all 4 rounds of the qualifying campaign unbeaten against FC Shkupi, Osijek, Maribor and finally FC Ufa. This was an excellent achievement for Steven Gerrard and Rangers as they reached their first European group stage since 2010/11 season.

Domestically however things were not going so well for the Ibrox club, the league was once again lost to bitter city rivals Celtic as a result of points being dropped to teams that Rangers should have seen off. Defeats at the hands of Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, and newly promoted Livingston were a big factor as well as dropping points to, Hibernian, Motherwell and Dundee. Despite Rangers finally tasting success against Celtic twice it wasn’t quite enough as they finished 9 points behind their rivals.

If you were to ask me if this season was a success for Rangers I’d have to say it wasn’t, the season was a great step in the right direction both on and off the pitch, however having won nothing in Scotland reaching Hampden only once isn’t anywhere near enough to call this season a success at a club like this.

I do feel that Rangers have the resources to strengthen this summer and achieve domestic success next season and potentially go further in Europe, only time will tell for Rangers but this season was definitely a statement of intent to the rest of Scotland that Rangers are back.

Why Celtic don’t need to buy a Scott Sinclair replacement.

When Scott Sinclair arrived in Glasgow in 2016 he became an instant hit with the Celtic fans scoring the winner in a 2-1 win on the opening day against Hearts. On the exact same day he was announced. Over the course of his first season at Celtic Park Sinclair continued to transform into some what of a hero scoring 21 league goals and laying on another 7 adding on to numerous G+A in the domestic cups. 

But now we are approaching the third season since the former Man City winger had his elementary season with the Scottish League Champions and his love from the Celtic fans is fading away as he now plays second fiddle to Johnny Hayes, a 31 year old Irish winger.

Due to a clause in Sinclair’s contract, Scott is now being paid £40k to warm the bench at Parkhead, meaning, albeit it isn’t his fault, he has fell even further down Celtic fans affection list.  This contract means that on what looks like his final year at Celtic, he will be being paid the largest wage in the whole of Scottish football. Something that won’t look attractive on Celtic’s wage bill. 

Scott Sinclair’s decadence has not been something that’s been difficult to spot after his debut year. Turning from a 20+ goal winger who strikes fear into the hearts of every teams full back and their fans to being a player that brings relief when seeing his name on the Celtic team sheet.

At Celtic, wingers have in recent history, never been a position where they are short of. As under contract right now the club have 7 (seven) first team wingers, excluding Oli Burke who has just returned to West Brom from his hardly impressive loan spell. This is the reason why Celtic should not look for a ‘Sinclair replacement’. 

The main player who should be seen as Sinclair’s successor is Michael Johnston, a 20 year old Scottish left midfielder who has scored 5 goals in 7 starts this year, only one less than this seasons Young Player of The Year and Team of The Season left midfielder Ryan Kent – who made 18 more starts. Johnston also averaged goal every 136 minutes over the course of the season. 

In January, Celtic recruited another winger, Maryan Shved from Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv. Although the standard may not translate from Ukraine to Scotland the attacker is quite evidently talented. Scoring 14 in 24 with his side in Ukraine and contributing to 3 assists. 

This Sunday, coincidentally in a 2-1 win against Hearts, 16 year old wonder-kid, born in 2003, Karamoko Dembele made his first team debut for Celtic becoming the youngest ever player to have played for Celtic. The talent played a 30 minute cameo and showed signs that he has the talent people are raving about. If implemented correctly Karamoko could be a Sinclair replacement for years to come, free of charge. 

Another upside of not buying a replacement winger is that the staggering £40,000 Celtic pay Sinclair may be added to improving areas that are more barren, perhaps a Boyata replacement due to the defender heading to the Bundesliga or finally a new right back.