Rangers have lost the rhythm in recent months having been knocked out from both the domestic cup competitions. They are now ten points adrift of leaders Celtic in the Premiership tally, therefore, unlikely to attain title glory in Steven Gerrard’s first managerial campaign.
The Gers boss, meanwhile, is under immense pressure after a series of underwhelming outcomes and desperate to add more quality to the squad despite sanctioning a string of signings during the past couple of transfer windows. They are now plotting a swoop for Lewis Holtby as per reports in Germany (as cited by The Daily Record), and the Hamburger SV midfielder would be a great coup once his contract expires at the end of the ongoing season.
Holtby, 28, was a rising star in Bundesliga during his Schalke days which eventually saw him grabbing an exciting transfer to Tottenham Hotspur back in January 2013. In spite of a promising start, Holtby found it challenging to break into the first team and completed a loan move to Fulham a year later.
There he featured more frequently but failed to prevent a demotion for the Cottagers to the second tier. The midfield ace opted to return to his homeland the next term amid interest from HSV and regained his lost charm to a certain extent in familiar surroundings.
Although Hamburg suffered relegation last season for the first time in the club’s history, Holtby decided to extend his contract and take a pay-cut to guide them back to Bundesliga. The club, so far, are going strong in their quest for immediate promotion with the former Germany international finding the net four times and assisting five times in 24 league appearances while operating from the centre of the pitch.
Rangers duly missed a creative presence in the middle of the park despite having a host of central midfield options in their ranks. Gerrard often used Scott Arfield in that role, but the Canadian failed to inject the spark of a ‘number 10’ even though he impressed with his work ethic and flexibility.
Holtby for free would be a shrewd piece of business but, at the same time, the player must work on his fitness to meet the demands and physicality of Scottish football. He faced spells on sidelines the last term which thwarted Hamburg’s survival hopes and an astounding run towards the closure was too late to inspire Die Rothosen to script an escape.
Yet the signing of Holtby would be a massive statement of intent from the board who must be seeking the Scottish crown more than ever and draw an end to Celtic’s monopoly after years of domestic dominance.
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