Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Rangers Join The Queue For This Wales International: Why Gerrard Should Rope Him In ASAP

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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, under Steven Gerrard, made significant progress last season after a period of confusion and catastrophe. Yet they fell short of their famous rivals Celtic in the title race and would look to reclaim the lost pride by dethroning the Hoops with proper spending. They have already roped in a few new names and are now weighing up a move for Wales international James Lawrence, according to the Mailsport (as claimed by the Daily Record).

The gaffer is keen on bolstering the backline following Joe Worrall’s return to his parent club Nottingham Forest upon completion of his season-long loan spell. George Edmundson of Oldham Athletic has been a target, but the Gers have seen their bids rejected for the 21-year-old over the past few weeks.

Lawrence, therefore, is being monitored as an alternative who would cost around £3m amid interest from the English second tier as well. Swansea City and Stoke City are also keen on tying him down for the upcoming term and Rangers might have to prepare a fascinating offer to lure the centre-back in at Ibrox.

The 26-year-old was born in Oxfordshire and had brief youth spells in London with Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers. He then moved to Holland with his family and joined the academy ranks of HFC Haarlem. Lawrence also had his stints with Ajax, Sparta Rotterdam and RKC Waalwijk before moving to Slovakia to attain senior minutes with FK AS Trenčín. There he won the league as well as the cup contest twice each before joining Anderlecht.

Despite making 31 appearances last season, the defender might lose his place to iconic Vincent Kompany who has returned to his boyhood club as a player-manager. This would boost the suitors over a potential summer swoop for Lawrence and the player, too, must keep his options open to secure first-team football.

The Bears acquired Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic a year back who formed a resilient central defensive pairing in early months. Although the latter struggled midway through the campaign, Gerrard banked on the Croatian again in place of Worrall during the culminating period.

While Goldson is supposed to retain his place in the heart of the backline, the arrival of Lawrence would provide competition to Katic for the other centre-half role. But the Light Blues require defensive cover to cope up with the grind, demand and aggressiveness of Scottish football and therefore, a move for the Anderlecht ace is justified considering his experience across Europe.

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