Rangers, a resurgent force under Steven Gerrard, are challenging for the Scottish supremacy after years of dismay. The new Ibrox boss has made an array of new signings to reconstruct the squad, but the business they have done so far suggests there are long-term goals over brief success. The Bears have not only recruited promising prospects but also tied down veterans as short-fix to formulate a perfect blend of youth and experience required to attain glory.
For instance, the arrival of 36-year-old Jermain Defoe on an 18-month loan deal from AFC Bournemouth would uplift their title hope this season as well as the upcoming one. But the club must look to find a successor and the academy starlets like Ryan Christie, Andrew Dallas and Zak Rudden must be promoted to the senior side if they continue their progress with the reserves or elsewhere on a temporary switch.
Rudden is the latest Gers centre-forward who is making significant strides at a senior level. The 18-year-old had a blistering loan spell with Falkirk in Championship where he found the net eight times and is now being sent back there for the rest of the season, according to the Scottish Sun.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Zak back with us. I can’t speak highly enough of him. We have been working really hard behind the scenes to make it happen in time for this afternoon’s game and we finally managed to get everything agreed this morning.”
Stated the Bairns boss Ray McKinnon who was desperate to bring him back to escape a relegation scare.
Ryan Hardie, on loan at Livingston, has notched five league goals already in 7 outings and should be handed minutes to shine for the Gers first team having proved his goal-poaching traits already.
Rangers have Alfredo Morelos upfront who is arguably one of the finest strikers of the league. But the future of Kyle Lafferty remains a doubt having made a slow start since completing a summer switch from Hearts. The 31-year-old Northern Irishman is at the twilight of his career, and the youngsters should step up in a couple of seasons’ time when both Lafferty and Defoe would depart on completion of their current contracts.
Gerrard, however, has built up a formidable squad capable of achieving big but should keep close tabs on the young guns who have been amazing so far. They must continue their excellence with more determination and eventually stake a claim in Gerrard’s plan within the next few years.