Monday, February 6, 2023

Rangers Targeting This Experienced Scottish Midfielder: Has Caixinha Struck Gold?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

There is no stopping for Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha now, as the Portuguese is seemingly going for yet another player now, which could be their ninth signing this summer. According to reports, they are now in the race with Championship side Birmingham City to sign Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean.

The Scottish giants returned to the Premiership after four years last term and given the squad at disposal, they did a marvellous job at finishing third in the table. Caixinha was brought midseason, and vast improvements instantly are definitely not expected from him. But, the way he has been going about his business, Rangers could be considered serious title challengers for next season.

Although it started with the ageing Bruno Alves with defensive reinforcements, Rangers have since then brought in some serious competitors in the squad, given their lost stature and unstable financial condition, which indicates the reputation of Caixinha.

He has already brought in Daniel Candeias to beef up his midfield and McLean’s addition will improve it vastly by all means. While improving a team defensively is still easy, building up a solid attacking third that can hurt the opponent on the smallest of breaks is a big challenge that Caixinha has taken. Despite being stated as a non-competitive league, the new faces would take the time to adapt in Scotland which emphasises the need for some local players as well.

And Mclean is targeted exactly for that. The 25-year-old Scottish international has been playing in top-flight Scottish football since the last seven years now and could be a direct entry to Rangers’ midfield. Although buying a player from a direct rival isn’t going to be easy, Rangers would rely on Caixinha’s goodwill to get the deal done.

The midfielder has been a prominent figure in the Aberdeen side as his five goals and five assists in 53 games in all competitions, and a significant involvement in every move contributed heavily to this side finishing runner-up the last term to Celtic.

An academy product of Scottish Championship side St. Mirren FC, Mclean has made his way up the ladder through the underage sides of the side as well some loan stints with fourth-tier side Arbroath FC. He broke into their first team in 2010 and has since been a regular in their side.

He soon became a fan favourite for his boyhood club scoring 24 goals and assisting 10 times in over 150 games. Aberdeen took him two years back and he has already scored 14 times for them. His international career is yet to kick off properly though, as he has been capped just once since making a debut in 2016.

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