Sunday, January 29, 2023

Rangers Eyeing A Swoop For This Former Porto Defender: A Potential Replacement For Tavernier?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Rangers are leaving no stone unturned to bring an end to Celtic’s domestic supremacy and have already roped in an array of new names to surpass their famous rivals in terms of quality, depth and squad strength. But the fear of losing a few key individuals is also looming large at Ibrox and the Gers, a galvanised force under Steven Gerrard, are weighing up alternatives to avoid a late rush of signings coming in at the club.

According to the Scottish Sun, Rangers are considering a swoop for Daniel Opare if skipper James Tavernier departs amid interest from Premier League outfits Brighton & Hove Albion and the newly-promoted Aston Villa. Opare, despite not being a familiar name, has been a journeyman having plied his trade in Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Turkey and Belgium. The 28-year-old is currently enjoying his time with Pro League outfit Royal Antwerp but is available for a minuscule figure of £500,000.

The Ghana international still has 12 months left in his current deal with the Belgian outfit, but the club wants to make a profit over losing him for nothing next summer. His pace, as well as physicality, would help him adjust to the competitive outlook of Scottish football. However, the Teddy Bears must fend off interest from Aston Villa and Norwich City (as claimed by the Sun) first to secure his services in due time.

The former Real Madrid B and Porto fullback has earned 20 senior caps for the Black Stars till date including an appearance in the 2014 FIFA World Cup against the USA. His experience, on and off the pitch, would be massive for the Glasgow giants en route to reconquering their lost status after years of turmoil and catastrophe.

But the exit of Tavernier would be a worrying sign as the club might struggle to replace his incredible return of goals as well as assists. His set-piece traits, overlapping runs, pinpoint crosses and cut insides from the right flank would be missed too in spite of having Jon Flanagan and Matt Polster in their rank.

Flanagan, the former Liverpool youngster, is more of a traditional fullback who concentrates more on the defensive game whereas Polster, the versatile American, is mostly untested in the Scottish environment and might find it challenging to fill Tavernier’s boots instantly.

Opare, a decent pick for a squad role, won’t be much of an upgrade to what the Light Blues currently have and Gerrard, therefore, should set his sights elsewhere and explore other options before sanctioning a move for the veteran Ghanian.

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