Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ranking Rangers’ Eight Summer Signings Based On The Impact They Could Have For Gerrard This Season

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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.

Premiership giants Rangers have started the 20/21 league season in pretty good fashion. They currently find themselves sitting pretty at the top of the table, with Celtic hot on their tail and just a point behind. Although some will argue that Celtic have a game in hand and that Rangers wouldn’t be there had that fixture been played, an experienced customer like Gerrard will know that points on the table are always better than games in hand. More so than the last few seasons, the mood around the Ibrox club has been upbeat since the commencement of the league campaign.

The fact that Rangers needed to make signings to have any chance of competing with Celtic was no secret, and Gerrard was seemingly well aware of that as well. The frustrating part for Rangers was that they needed to make signings in various areas across the pitch, and this would take both time, as well as effort. A few months down the line and the transfer window is now closed, but Rangers seem to have done their business in time. Eight different players were brought in by the manager, with only one of them arriving on a loan deal.

Ranking Rangers’ 8 Summer Signings Based On Potential Impact:

Ranking Rangers' 8 Summer Signings Based On Potential Impact - Rangers greet Gerrard
MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Steven Gerrard, Manager of Rangers celebrates with his players following their victory during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Rangers at Fir Park on September 27, 2020 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Ranking Rangers’ 8 Summer Signings Based On Potential Impact

8. Jermain Defoe

The English veteran joined Rangers on a permanent move this summer, after his loan spell from Bournemouth came to an end. Although the striker can play the role of a utility player, considering the number of options they have up-front, it’s likely that his opportunities for playing first-team football will be somewhat limited.

7. Calvin Bassey

The former Leicester City full-back has been brought in as one for the future. The 20-year-old was acquired on a free transfer over the summer and could develop into quite the player in the years to come. For the time being though, he will likely have to make do with a place on the bench. Borna Barisic is the current first-choice left-back option, and considering that he even starts for Croatia, the chances of Bassey breaking into the first-team are rather slim.

6. Jon McLaughlin

Like their Premiership rivals Celtic, Steven Gerrard’s side were also forced into purchasing a new goalkeeper for this season. He has been providing Allan McGregor with some much-needed competition and has even been handed some deserved playing time since the start of the Premiership campaign.

5. Cedric Itten

The Swiss striker was brought in as Rangers seemed to be preparing for the potential departure of Alfredo Morelos. Now that the Colombian has stayed on though, it’s unlikely that Itten will become a regular starter anytime soon. So far this season, Gerrard has been forced to play Itten in a wide role to give him some playing time, and it could gradually become a frustrating situation for the tall striker.

Ranking Rangers' 8 Summer Signings Based On Potential Impact - Itten celebrates
MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Cedric Itten of Rangers celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides fifth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Rangers at Fir Park on September 27, 2020 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

4. Leon Balogun

The Nigerian international defender has vast amounts of experience under his belt and was brought in on a free transfer as well. Although Rangers started the season with a lack of clarity about who their first-choice centre-half pairing was going to be, Gerrard now seems to have come to a decision. Connor Goldson and Filip Helander have been the preferred duo, but that doesn’t take anything away from the quality that Balogun brings. He will be rotated in and out of the side as the manager sees fit.

3. Bongani Zungu

The South African midfielder was the only signing that Rangers made on deadline day, and their reasoning behind the acquisition was understandable too. The host of injuries that plagued Rangers’ squad at the start of the season left them in a dire situation, and a repeat of that at a later point in the season could’ve come at a massive price. Zungu has been acquired to compete with the likes of Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara for the starting role. Considering the number of games that Rangers are expected to play, he will likely be given opportunities as well.

2. Ianis Hagi

The Romanian attacker arrived at the Ibrox last season and won over the hearts of the Rangers faithful quite effortlessly. Undoubtedly the most technically gifted player in the whole Rangers roster, his exploits in the Europa League last season were commendable, to say the least. Although he hasn’t started the current season in the best possible fashion, it’s almost guaranteed that Hagi will come good in the long run. Steven Gerrard is clearly well aware of this as well, because if that wasn’t the case, they would never have shelled out the amount of money that they did.

1. Kemar Roofe

The Jamaican international striker spent a year away from the UK all the way in Belgium last season and didn’t manage to capture the imagination. The number of goals that he scored during his last year at Leeds United is arguably what prompted the Ibrox club to make a move. The attacker has already managed to keep Alfredo Morelos out of the starting eleven on several occasions, while the goals have been flowing at a decent pace as well. With the Colombian unable to garner the form that he produced at the start of last season, it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see Roofe taking over as first-choice a few months down the line.

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