Recently reports had emerged that Rangers had joined the race to sign Anderlecht’s defensive ace James Lawrence in the summer. However, reports from the Scottish Sun now claims that sources in Ibrox have played down a move for the Welsh international. Steven Gerrard has been on the lookout for a centre back for quite some time now, but he hasn’t managed to get his hands on anybody so far.
Gerrard faces disappointments in the lookout for a defender
The Gers tried to bring in Edson Mexer earlier, but he went on to join Bordeaux. The experienced defender would have been a valuable addition at the back, but he decided to continue his stint in Ligue 1.
Gerrard is also looking to sign George Edmundson from Oldham Atheltic, but two of Rangers’ bids have been rejected. Rangers are still in the race for him along with Portsmouth, but the transfer saga has stretched on for quite some time now.
Why are Rangers after a defender?
Joe Worrall and Gareth McAuley’s contracts have expired, and Gerrard is only left with two senior centre backs in the squad. Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic are good options to have, but Gerrard would desperately need someone else to come in to add depth and competition for places. With Europa League qualifiers set to begin earlier than the league games, we expect Rangers to sign a defender in the early part of the transfer window.
Are Rangers making a mistake by not going after Lawrence?
The 26-year-old is a five-time Wales international, and he had spells at the youth level with English clubs like Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers. He also had a stint with Dutch heavyweights Ajax before finding his feet with Slovakian outfit FK AS Trenčín. After impressing there, he earned a move to the Belgian heavyweights.
Lawrence is a versatile centre back as he can play as a left back and as a defensive midfielder. He has decent on the ball abilities along with good defensive attributes. Standing at 6ft2, he is physically strong, and the defender should be able to cope with the challenge of the Premiership.
With Rangers needing two defenders, there is no doubt that they should continue with their pursuit for Lawrence. Maybe the price tag would be a bit of a worry as the defender can cost around £3m. Championship outfit Stoke City and Swansea City are also said to be in the mix and Gerrard would have to offer him a lucrative contract to lure him. It might very well be that Gerrard has some better or cheaper options in mind, and that’s why Rangers decided to cool their interest in Lawrence.
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