Pedro Caixinha was appointed Rangers manager in March this year. Since being appointed he has taken charge of 10 league games at Rangers. In those games, Rangers won six, drew two and lost two. While this is a decent record for a manager just taking over it was not good enough for Rangers who finished third in the SPL. Ideally, Rangers fans would like to be challenging Celtic for the title next season. But Celtic went undefeated in the league last season and drew just four times. This means that if Rangers want to title challenge they need a drastic overhaul.
Thankfully for Rangers fans, Caixinha is aware of this and has stated that he could sign as many as 11 new players this transfer window, while 14 could be shown the door. This shows clear intent from the Rangers boss to challenge Celtic for the title and improve his squad dramatically.
Here are eleven players’ Rangers could sign to challenge Celtic next season.
Liam Boyce should surely be on the top of Rangers wish list this summer. Boyce is a striker for SPL side Ross County. The striker had an extremely impressive 2016/17 season. He played 34 league games this past season netting an impressive 23 times, also managing five assists. Boyce’s 23 goals also meant he finished at the SPL top scorer beating out Celtic’s Scott Sinclair by two goals.
Furthermore, Ranger’s top scorer this past season, Kenny Miller, finished with only 11 goals. If Rangers do want to title challenge next season, having a top scorer with just 11 goals is simply not good enough. So, it’s clear Rangers really need a new striker and who better than last season’s SPL top scorer.
Fischer is a left winger currently playing for Middlesbrough. However, in his year at Boro, Fischer has struggled for game time. Despite this though Fischer has impressed when given a chance. He is a skilful winger who can deliver a solid cross. Fischer has also been linked with Celtic this season which shows he would be a good signing for Rangers as a team who went undefeated in the SPL are interested in him.
Fischer has earned 3 assists in 13 appearances for Boro in the league. Although it doesn’t look like much, considering Middlesbrough’s poor goal scoring record and the fact fellow left winger Stewart Downing managed the same in over twice the appearances, three is quite good.
Gauld left the SPL in 2014 when he moved from Dundee United to Sporting Lisbon. While at Lisbon, Gauld has struggled for game time and spent some time out on loan. However, before his move to Portugal, Gauld was lighting up the SPL. He was even dubbed the mini-Messi due to his fantastic performances, skill, pace and flair. Gauld himself has admitted his career is stalling so a loan move to Rangers for a year could be exactly what Gauld and Rangers need.
Liam Lindsay is a centre-back who plays for SPL side Patrick Thistle. Lindsay has an impressive 2016/17 in which he bagged six goals, quiet the feet for a centre back. He was certainly Patrick Thistle’s best defender and helped them earn 10 clean sheets last season which isn’t bad considering they finished 6th. Furthermore, to show how good Lindsay was, he was the only player not from Celtic or Aberdeen to earn himself a place in the SPL 2016/17 team of the season.
Rangers have already been linked with Walker and have reportedly had three bids rejected for him. Despite having three bids rejected, Rangers should really put another in. Walker has scored 12 goals and earned 3 assists in 34 league games this season for Hearts. This is a really impressive goal tally for a winger. More importantly, though it is better than Rangers top scorer who finished with 11 goals and is a striker. So, as Rangers need to add goals to their squad, Walker would be a great signing for them.
As it stands Charlie Adam is out of contract with Stoke City on June 30th. Therefore, a move back to Rangers could be on the cards. Adam fell slightly out of favour at Stoke this season but he still managed to make 24 Premier League appearances. Which shows he is still a top quality centre midfielder.
Adam has previously spent 5 years at Rangers, although most of it was out on loan. He did still make 76 appearances scoring 15 and assisting 10. Since then though, Adam has improved greatly with stints at Blackpool, Liverpool and Stoke he became a well established Premier League midfielder. Now his time with Stoke could well be up, a move back to Rangers to help them title challenge is very possible.
Given like Adam is out of contract with Stoke this summer. Unlike Adam, though Given’s future is seemingly more likely to be away from Stoke. Although he is 41, Given still wants to keep playing and has come out and said he’d like to play another year. The Irish international could prove to be a huge part of Rangers success next season. He would bring a plethora of knowledge and experience and even at 41 is still a top quality goalkeeper.
Also, as he is out of contract on July 1st which means Rangers would be getting a Premier League keeper for free which is never a bad thing.
Another player Rangers could possibly sign for free is Sunderland midfielder and Swedish international Sebastian Larsson. The midfielder is out of contract at the end of the month and is unlikely to remain at relegated Sunderland. Larsson clearly has some quality as he has been a Premier League player for many years now. He is also versatile in that he can play left, centre and right midfield. Furthermore, newly promoted Brighton are also rumoured to be interested in him which shows that he is seen as a Premier League quality player.
Overall, if Rangers could lure Larson he would provide valuable experience at 32 years of ages. He would also be able to play all across the midfield if required which can be very handy if injuries arise in the squad.
Don Cowie is a central midfielder who plays for Hearts in the SPL. Cowie is a very creative centre mid who managed to earn 10 assists in the league last season. If Rangers are going to challenge Celtic next year, one thing they are going to need is creativity and Cowie could very well be the man to provide that because of his impressive assist tally last season.
Although Cowie is 34 years of age he could still have one or two good seasons in him which Rangers could use him for to challenge Celtic.
Bernardo Espinosa could well be the rock at the back Rangers need to challenge Celtic. He is a 27-year-old Columbian centre back currently at Middlesbrough. Espinosa was signed for Boro at the start of last season. He only played 11 Premier League games for Boro. But he was very impressive in most of those games. Admittedly, Espinosa did not cope well in big games against big clubs such as against Manchester United when he made several mistakes.
However, in the nicest way possible, apart from maybe Celtic all the other teams in the SPL are nowhere near the level of United and thus if Rangers did sign Espinosa he would be a very solid defender for them and would certainly reduce the amount of goals they are conceding.
Jerome looks to be leaving Norwich due to the club having a major over hall. The striker could be a perfect fit for Rangers. Jerome is not likely to be receiving any EPL bids as he has proven in the past he is not really a Premier League quality striker. On the other hand, Jerome is a quality Championship striker. He scored 16 this season and 18 in 2014/15.
Therefore, as he is a proven Championship goalscorer, if signed for Rangers, he will most likely be one of the top scorers in the SPL. Jerome has attracted some interest from Middlesbrough and Sunderland. But Middlesbrough looks to be focusing their attention on Assombalonga instead. While Sunderland are still without a manager meaning they are unlikely to be signing players anytime soon.
Therefore, a bid from Rangers could tempt Norwich into selling Jerome and as he has never played in the SPL before, the prospect of a title challenging with Rangers could lure Jerome there.
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