Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will know all too well about the magnanimity of the task on his hands when football reopens once again and clubs prepare for business as usual if they can put the present season behind them.
With Celtic 13 points ahead and most leagues being called off across Europe, it should not come as a surprise to any Scottish football fan out there when 2019/2020 season gets called off and Celtic are handed the title based on their ‘sporting merits’. It has happened with PSG, it is about to happen with Liverpool and it might most likely be the case here with Celtic as well.
But that’s not the concern Ranger’s fans should be having at the moment. The moment of truth comes after this when clubs start doing business with each other as Steven Gerrard and Ross Wilson start to analyse the glaring loopholes in the squad and work on delicately balancing that with the financial restrictions they will have on hand. Given the impact, Coronavirus has had on football clubs and will continue to have for as long as it exists, its something every club will have to deal with and Ranger’s shouldn’t be any different.
Being able to stop Celtic’s ten in row thing will be Steven Gerrard ‘s second-biggest footballing achievement if it so happens and it’s not hard to see why. For all the Gers out there, it is imperative that Rangers with all their might and hustle, actually end up managing to stop the Celtic bandwagon at all costs before it becomes etched permanently in the history of Scottish football for decades to come.
If the first half of the campaign is anything to go by, Rangers have actually improved by leaps and bounds since Stevie G’s takeover and really seem like the real deal. That’s what a Glasgow Rangers team looks like and December’s 2-1 win over Celtic might just have been the epitome of that.
Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 to go level on points at the top of the table.
Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 to go 13 points clear at the top of the table. pic.twitter.com/HAiQNPJ8nK
— bet365 (@bet365) March 31, 2019
Fast forward to a couple of months down the line and it’s not all hunky-dory now, is it? Gerrard’s squad have stopped being able to paper over the numerous cracks in their squad, Celtic seem pretty much unstoppable and glaring frailty in Rangers squad becoming all the more obvious.
While Allan McGregor has no doubt been colossus since rejoining Rangers, at 38 he still isn’t getting any younger and his mistakes have also been baffling at times. A shrewd decision would be to invest in a younger but high-quality shot-stopper who has already proved his mettle in the top flight and simple needs to move to a bigger club to truly flourish. Enter Vaclav Hladky, arguably the best shot-stopper in the entire Scottish Premiership, someone without whom St Mirren wouldn’t even be in the same league as Rangers right now and whose contract runs out in the summer.
Another player that Gers missed out on signing last summer and could get a rare second chance at is Club Brugge’s defender Simon Deli, who is one of the four players being tipped to leave the Belgium side because of some financial limitations at the club. A £2m rock who stunned Real Madrid, won the league with Slavia Prague, became a fan favourite at his new club and pocketed Benzema during a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid, all within the last twelve months.
Connor Goldson, Filip Helander, and Nikola Katic are among the defensive options available at Ibrox, but Deli is arguably a step upon them all and this opportunity is something that Ross Wilson and Steven Gerrard really need to capitalise on.
In midfield, Rangers seem to be fairly stocked with a number of decent options all ready to play their part. The likes of Joe Aribo, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield, and Ianis Hagi, whom the club are looking to make permanent this summer, all represent quality options that can do the job on their day or not even make a dent when they don’t. Their dull drab and boring 1-0 loss to Hearts in the Scottish cup bears testament to that and that is where a player like Rodrigo Riquelme comes in and lights up the entire stadium. A blistering pace, articulate footwork, and an inherent flair for being lethal behind the striker.
The best part about this possible deal is the fact that he runs out of contract in the summer with his Spanish overlords, essentially making this transfer a possible free one and even if he does sign a deal, a lucrative loan deal with a host of regular first-team opportunities coupled with Europa League appearances might just be what he needs to fast track his entry into the Atletico first team.
Next up is where we probably need to get our thinking caps on and start bashing Rangers and their over-reliance on Alfredo Morelos. Right now, its a ‘no Morelos no party’ situation at Ibrox and that is something that really needs to change. By getting rid of the ridiculous number of fringe players at the club and rerouting some of that wage bill towards affording a player who can actually make an impact in the history of the club. Enter a 20-year-old highly-rated English striker named Rhian Brewster who is already being tipped to join Steven Gerrard to further hone his development.
Rhian Brewster has been tipped to link up Steven Gerrard at Rangers this summer.
Noel Whelan: “Gerrard needs striking options. Brewster might be the key player that Steven thinks he can take for a year. He is a fox in the box and that is what teams want.”https://t.co/el900vluqI
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) April 21, 2020
Barring interest from Leeds United, Rangers have a solid chance of attracting the young Liverpool striker who is regarded highly by both Jurgen Klopp and Steven Gerrard. With Defoe at the back end of his career and Morelos’ mood swings and indiscipline costing quite dearly at times, Brewster is exactly the kind of player who can make the most out of this situation with his typical fox in the box attributes and also become a worthy replacement if Morelos does leave in the summer.
Have any other names popping in your mind when you read this? Drop em in the comment section.