Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Rangers Keeping Close Tabs On This Eredivisie Centre-Back: Do They Need Him At Ibrox?

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Pratyay Maitra
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If the report from regional Dutch outlet  De Gelderlander is believed to be true, Rangers are keeping close tabs on Vitesse Arnhem defender Danilho Doekhi ahead of a potential summer transfer. The youngster, however, is also being tracked by an array of English outfits including Fulham and Newcastle United as cited in the story.

The 22-year-old Dutch youth international progressed through the academy ranks of  Excelsior before drawing the attention of Ajax’s scouts. He joined their renowned development set-up and grabbed a regular status in Eerste Divisie. His impressive run of form earned him an Eredivisie swoop with Vitesse in the summer of 2018.

Despite an initial sporadic role, Doekhi cemented a starting spot since the previous campaign. He has featured 33 times so far this term across competitions and his towering presence in the heart of the backline has made Vitesse the second least conceding Eredivisie side  (next to Ajax) in the ongoing season.

Rangers have conquered the coveted Premiership crown but failed to double their success following a shocking Scottish Cup exit on Sunday night. They should have progressed further in the Europa League and the heroics of 39-year-old Allan McGregor between the sticks helped them grind out results in many close outings.

Vitesse defender Danilho Doekhi in action against Ajax
ROTTERDAM, 18-04-2021, Stadium de Kuip, Dutch football, season 2020 / 2021, Cupfinal for the KNVB-beker between Ajax and Vitesse 2-1. Ajax player Ryan Gravenberch, Vitesse player Danilho Doekhi Ajax – Vitesse cupfinal PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxNED x11493376x Copyright:

Why The Addition Of Doekhi Would Be A Bit Of A Surprise

The Bears, meanwhile, are well equipped in central defence with Connor Goldson and Filip Helander delivering week in week out. The likes of Leon Balogun and Jack Simpson have been roped in to add more depth as well as quality, whereas Nikola Katic is expected to return to action soon overcoming a horrific knee injury that ruled him out for almost a year. George Edmundson is surplus to requirements and is trying his level best to make an impression at Derby County. The Englishman joined the Rams on loan during the winter window but has not done enough yet to stake a claim in Steven Gerrard’s long-term plannings.

With six senior centre-backs already in the ranks, Rangers’ interest in Danilho Doekhi is indeed a surprise. Even if they decide to offload Edmundson on permanent terms, the Dutchman would still be way down the pecking order upon his arrival. Known for his aerial supremacy, calmness and concentration, the young centre-half must attune to the aggression of Scottish football.

Having said that, the prestigious Champions League football is back at Ibrox after years of despair and the addition of the defender might allow the gaffer to manage the squad in a better manner.

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