Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Rangers Suffer Setback In Their Chase Of 23 Y/O Defender: What Now For Gerrard?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Rangers FC have expressed heavy interest in Millwall defender, Jake Cooper by putting forth three bids, the latest of which is valued at £3m. However, the Lions have not retorted with a positive reply and are determined to keep their defensive ace for the coming season. Cooper is already set to appear in Millwall’s preseason games with his contract left to run for another two seasons.

This could potentially be a massive blow for Steven Gerrard, who has been looking for more defensive strengthening after the additions of Nikola Katic and Conor Goldson earlier this summer. The new Gers boss thought of Cooper to be the perfect addition to instil a bit of competition for the centre-back spots. The 23-year-old impressed this past term by helping Millwall to the eight spot of the Championship. He made 46 appearances for the side and contributed with 4 goals and 2 assists on the offensive end.

Cooper also has five caps for England’s U18, U19 and U20 sides and is a cemented starter under Neil Taylor. His dutiful presence at the back and his ball playing skills could have given Gerrard a different dynamic to exploit in the Light Blues defence. Cooper has a dominant left foot and is versatile enough to provide cover from the wide areas as well.

He started his professional career with Reading FC and signed his first professional contract in June 2013. He made his Championship debut against Ipswich Town in August 2014 and later went on to make 54 appearances for the Royals senior squad.

His inauguration to Millwall was a brief spell in the 2017/18 season. Since impressing through the six months at the Den, Cooper was signed permanently last summer on a three-year contract. The Englishman earned his first international call-up for his country’s U18 side against Belgium in February 2013. He made his U20 debut against Canada in the summer of 2016.

At 23, he has massive potential and could have become one of Gerrard’s star men in the upcoming season. The Gers manager has taken charge of the Ibrox since the sacking of Graeme Murty and has set off on an ambitious path of bolstering the club ranks.

Gerrard will have to return Rangers to title-winning ways and their bitter rivals Celtic seem to be the only ones in their way. Brendan Rodgers’s side are brimming with top-pedigree and Gerrard has to match that if he is to place a serious threat for major honours next term.

Read More: Rangers Not Looking Too Keen On 26 Y/O Blackpool Man: What Should Be Gerrard’s Play Here?

Maybe he should make a final attempt to get Cooper and if unsuccessful, look towards signing other alternative options.

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