Thursday, February 9, 2023

Rangers To Battle With Aston Villa & Lazio For This Croatian Midfielder: Can Gerrard Lure Him To Ibrox?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

According to the latest reports from Italian media outlet CalcioMercato, Rangers are said to be interested in signing Croatian midfielder Josip Vukovic who is currently plying his trade for Portuguese outfit Maritimo. This is not the first time that the midfielder’s name has been linked with Rangers. However, the latest report indicates that Championship outfit Aston Villa and Serie A side Lazio are also interested in this defensive midfielder.

Vukovic has played 22 games for his side in all competitions this season. Maritimo currently occupies the 13th spot in the Portuguese top division. The midfielder was signed just last summer only, but the Croatian’s impressive performance has caught the eyes of quite a few teams.

Does Rangers need him?

Midfield and defensive midfield is one of the positions where Steven Gerrard has plenty of options. Ross McCrorie and Ryan Jack have done well in that role, and even other midfielders can step up if/when required to play in the deepest position in midfield.

However, given Vukovic’s quality, we believe he can be an upgrade over the current options which Rangers have at their disposal. Moreover, Lassana Coulibaly and Steven Davis are only at Ibrox on a loan spell, and their deal is about to expire soon. Therefore there can be vacancies in midfield after the end of the season.

What will the Croatian bring to the table?

Vukovic is a midfield disruptor as he likes to sit back and shield the back line. He reads the situations well and can make some smart interceptions and tackles. The Croatian also has that physical side to his game which should stand him in good stead in the Premiership. Apart from that, the 26-year-old showcases decent ability on the ball and he can form a good base of attack as well. Therefore he is a complete package that a manager would need from his defensive midfielder.

Chances of Rangers signing him?

The report adds that the player is valued at somewhere between €900,000-1m. Therefore he should be withing Rangers’ reach. However, Aston Villa are vying to move to the Premier League and given their current form; they have every chance of making it. Lazio are a top half Serie A outfit who can make it to the Europa League main draws directly.

Therefore Steven Gerrard’s task is definitely cut out with some top clubs challenging for the Croatian’s signature. It would be interesting to see how keen the Bears would be to land the midfielder as they have two decent defensive midfield options.

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