The improvement and upsurge of Rangers under Steven Gerrard were observed last season. But they are showing more grit and determination this term to knock Celtic off the perch and conquer the league crown after years of agony and anguish.
Although the manager has roped in an array of new names over the past three windows, his decision to reward new deals to Allan McGregor and Ryan Jack (as reported by the Daily Record) suggests how keen he is to keep hold of the core irrespective of the rebuilding work.
McGregor returned to his boyhood club last summer on a two-year deal and was handed first-team status ahead of the Gers’ former ‘number 1’ Wes Foderingham. The Scotsman will turn 38 in January but is still going strong between the sticks. He earned a place in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year for his enormous influence during the 2018-19 season.
A certain amount of appearances would trigger a one-year extension in the custodian’s deal, and the Rangers boss has confirmed the same (as quoted by the Daily Record) even though he is unaware of the exact number of matches the veteran needs to play.
“How many games, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Ross Wilson. He’ll have all the contracts in his top drawer. But it would be close before the winter break. Definitely around then, if he keeps playing well. He is in a good place, in good form and we expect him to be here next year. That is never in doubt.”
Jack, on the other hand, has become an integral figure in Gerrard’s Rangers revolution. The midfield ace has been majestic while dictating the game from a central role and his combativity, vision along with the game-reading attributes have impressed the gaffer enough to secure his long-term future.
The 27-year-old is already tied down at Ibrox until the summer of 2021 having extended his stay last December. But the former Aberdeen skipper is expected to pen yet another contract within days and therefore, set to commit his future at the club beyond that period.
Rangers are well equipped in the middle of the park with plenty of options available following a busy summer. But they do not have an able alternative of Jack who can orchestrate the flow from a deep-lying role and carry the ball forward to create chances high up the pitch. His significance has been highlighted before, and the new deal depicts it en route to the Light Blues’ attempt to reclaiming lost glory.
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