Rangers‘ return to the top flight of Scottish football did no harm to famous rivals Celtic‘s sheer supremacy in Scottish football as they clinched a ‘double treble’ over the past two seasons under Brendan Rodgers. The Hoops, however, might expect a greater challenge this term from Rangers who appointed the iconic Liverpool and England skipper Steven Gerrard as their new boss with a mission to reclaim the lost throne defeating the Parkhead outfit.
The Gers have only finished third in the last two campaigns and were humiliated in the old firm derbies time and again. The Scouse legend will have to reconfigure the squad and uplift the game at Ibrox to match the standards of his former boss Rodgers who was in charge of Liverpool during Gerrard’s final years in Merseyside before leaving for LA Galaxy and eventually hanging up his playing boots.
Although Gerrard does not have any prior managerial experience at a senior level, he had a decent spell last season with the Liverpool U18s and is already up for the challenge and relishing the opportunity of managing such a prestigious football club. The Light Blues have qualified for the Europa League qualifying rounds and their pre-season is set to begin in less than a fortnight’s time.
Many of his resources failed to impress last season but the gaffer is not expected to give up on them this early and will allow the underperformers to prove their worth before deciding upon their future at Ibrox. The likes of James Tavernier, Josh Windass and Alfredo Morelos, on contrary, had an astounding campaign and are on the radar of many outfits from abroad.
Tavernier, the 26-year-old right-back is reportedly a transfer target of Premier League side Crystal Palace but Gerrard has strictly directed the club’s director of football Mark Allen to turn down any bid for the Englishman.
Rangers’ defensive line was below par last season except for Tavernier who was the only stand out performer week in week out. The former Liverpool and Three Lions midfield general is well aware of these limitations and is set to make multiple defensive recruitments this summer – mostly in central defence. But Tavernier is believed to continue as the first-choice option due to his balanced attacking as well as defensive display down the right-hand side.
The former Newcastle United fullback is known for his overlapping runs, pin-point crosses inside the box, link-up play high up the pitch and also has the ability to deliver good crosses from set-pieces. Although he needs to track back more often to cover the backline, Tavernier’s game perfectly suits the aggressive nature of Scottish football.
Young attacker Josh Windass has also drawn interest from Burnley and Cardiff City but should expect a similar stance from Steven Gerrard who is determined to bring those glory days back at Ibrox and end Celtic’s years of domination in Premiership football.
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