It was no secret that Steven Gerrard was after a left-footed centre-back in the summer transfer window and had identified Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson as one of the prospective options. However, the move didn’t materialise as Eddie Howe did not let him go.
The Gers went on to sign Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest on loan, and they also brought in veteran defender Gareth McAuley who was a free agent. Simpson recently opened about the summer rumours and said that it was nice that a club was interested in him even though he hasn’t played much at the top level.
Simpson was quoted as saying,”It was nice and I didn’t really expect it if I’m honest. It was a bit strange but it doesn’t really matter now because I’m here and I’m a Bournemouth player. I was aware of it but just got on with my training and if it happened, it happened. For me, it was just important to make sure I developed as a player and it wasn’t really in my control. I am happy to be here and be a part of this squad because it’s not a big squad and there will be opportunities to play.”
Simpson has so far made just two appearances in the Carabao Cup and hasn’t played a single minute in the Premier League. Howe has preferred the centre-back pairing of Nathan Ake and Steve Cook and unless one of them gets injured, you simply cannot see Simpson getting opportunities apart from the various Cup games. Tyrone Mings is also likely to be ahead in the pecking order and if Simson doesn’t get many chances before the winter period, maybe Eddie Howe might change his stance of allowing him to leave on a short-term loan deal.
However, we feel the Gers have acquired enough in the centre back position and revisiting this situation on Simpson in January wouldn’t make sense. The likes of Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson have formed a strong partnership at the back and even Joe Worrall is now showing impressive signs.
Simpson is only likely to move if he gets regular playing opportunity at the Ibrox and even though he would be that jigsaw piece which Gerrard has been looking for (left-footed centre back), we suspect the manager will not bring in another centre-half. Defenders often play in partnerships and bringing a new defender in January might disrupt the understanding the three defenders have already formed.
Howe had earlier said that Simpson was too important a player to leave on loan and he would know that by the time December arrives, the games will come thick and fast. The Cherries have progressed in the League Cup as well, so we expect Simpson to get opportunities here and there.