Friday, August 19, 2022

Rangers Clinch Deal For This English Striker – Makes The Team More Complete?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Following what Rangers achieved last season under the stewardship of Mark Warburton, it was always expected that the Gers will be one of the most active clubs during the summer transfer window. Yes, they did win the Championship with relative ease last campaign but there is a huge gap between the levels of the Premiership and the Championship and the Gers needed to add plenty of quality to their squad. However, Rangers fans probably did not expect such an eventful transfer window.

Rangers made their tenth signing of the summer in the form of striker Joe Garner from English Championship side Preston North End.  The 28-year-old was paraded at Ibrox Park ahead of the Gers’ 2-1 win over Motherwell on Saturday and is in line for his debut this Friday against Kilmarnock.

With the signing of Garner, Rangers look more or less done with their business (a new central defender could still be on the cards, though). Rangers lost their first choice forward Martyn Waghorn to a hamstring injury in early weeks of the new campaign. Even though veteran Kenny Miller has been in a scintillating form already scoring two Premiership goals from three games, Rangers could have regretted their decision for not going for another striker.

From the signings Rangers made this summer, it is obvious that Warburton is looking for a perfect comeback to the top tier. The Premiership title, which has become a monopoly of arch-rivals Celtic in the last few seasons, is pretty clearly what Warburton has set his eyes on and the signings of players like Kranjcar, Barton, Rossiter speaks for that. If Rangers failed to bring in a capable and younger striker than Kenny Miller this summer, the team would have looked incomplete. Garner gives Rangers that much-needed breathing space up front.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Joe Garner of Preston North End reacts after missing a shot on goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Preston North End at Loftus Road on November 7, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 07: Joe Garner of Preston North End reacts after missing a shot on goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Preston North End at Loftus Road on November 7, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

Garner was on the books of Preston since 2013 and notched 57 goals for the club from 148 games till date. After playing a pivotal role in Preston North End winning promotion to the Championship in the 2014-15 season scoring 25 goals from 37 League one games, a big dip in form awaited him as he could manage just six goals last season in the Championship from 44 games.

Truth to be told, Rangers moving for Garner makes sense for both parties. Awarded League One Player of the Year in 2014-15 and then being touted as a flop in the Championship, a move to the north of the border might rejuvenate the career of the talented striker. That is what Rangers exactly need from him. Clinching a deal for Garner is yet another masterstroke from Marc Warburton and Celtic has to be wary of their rivals this season as their domestic title looks in jeopardy.

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