Monday, November 28, 2022

Rangers Battling Celtic For 23 Year Old Defender: Does This Move Make Sense For Gerrard?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by French source France Football, Premiership giants Rangers are said to be keen on acquiring the services of Troyes’ Malian international midfielder Boubakar “Kiki” Kouyate. Although the player was reported to have expressed an interest in moving to England, complications surrounding a Premier League work permit make that an improbable prospect. French side Lens and German heavyweights Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04 are also said to be interested in the defender.

Although it has been clarified that Rangers are keen on Boubakar Kouyate, the Ligue 2 club are said to be expecting in the region of €4.5m for the big man’s services. The report then goes on to suggest that Gerrard has already expressed an interest in signing the centre-half, but that they will face competition from Old Firm rivals Celtic. Worryingly for Gerrard, it is also claimed that Celtic are currently pushing harder in an attempt to lure the Malian to Glasgow this summer.

What Is Rangers’ Current Defensive Situation?

Steven Gerrard started last season with four names to choose from at centre-half, and while all four of them were good in periods, consistency seemed to be the most daunting concern. Connor Goldson was one of the regulars in the side, and although there’s no need to question his general quality, he tends to suffer the odd lapse in concentration. The Englishman’s carelessness at the back cost Gerrard’s side multiple good positions this season.

Filip Helander, George Edmundson and Nikola Katic formed the Gers’ other three options. Katic had an extremely mixed season, where he started perfectly well and then kept getting worse as the games wore on. Helander bought in from Bologna as a potential defensive rock for Gerrard’s side in the summer, took his time to break into the side.

Rangers Are Keen On Boubakar Kouyate - Kouyate points during a match
JOIE – 03 BOUBAKAR KOUYATE TRO FOOTBALL : Troyes vs AC Ajaccio – Dominos Ligue 2 – 21/12/2019 AnthonyBIBARD/FEP/Panoramic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxITAxBEL

However, he performed well when he finally made his way into the team. His spell in the starting eleven was cut short by injury though, as the defender missed a large chunk of the season around the turn of the year. On the other hand, Edmundson is definitely a prospect for the future and has been solid whenever he has played. However, the major drawback of the former Oldham man is that his passing range is not great.

What Would Kiki Kouyate Add To This Rangers Team?

Standing at over 1.9m tall, the Malian international can be described as a defensive giant, who tends to dominate any aerial balls that are played into the box. Adept at stepping up to cut out opposition passes and comfortable putting his body on the line for the sake of the team, Kouyate could be exactly the kind of physical defender that Gerrard’s side have been calling out for. The 23-year-old, on top of playing in 18 Ligue 2 fixtures this season where he was thoroughly impressive, even managed to notch up five goals along the way.

Rangers Are Keen On Boubakar Kouyate: Should Gerrard Make A Move?

The Gers are going into what will surely be an extremely important season in the history of Premiership football. The possibility of Celtic winning a tenth straight league title, or that of Rangers historically denying them that triumph, is sure to create massive shockwaves around the Scottish footballing scene. Going into a campaign of such value with just inconsistent options to choose from at the back could spell bad news, and that’s why Gerrard must do everything in his power to bring this dominant Malian to the Ibrox next season.

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