Monday, June 27, 2022

Rangers Eyeing A Swoop For This Blackburn Rovers Ace: Gerrard Should Get This Deal Done

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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.

If a report from the Scottish Sun (as cited by the Daily Record) is believed to be true, Rangers are aiming a move for Blackburn Rovers midfielder Joe Rothwell. The former England youth international is contracted at Ewood Park until the summer of 2022 and, therefore, allowed to agree on pre-contract terms in January over a potential Bosman switch at the end of the ongoing campaign.

The 26-year-old midfield ace progressed through the youth ranks of Manchester United. However, despite impressing with the reserves, he could not make it to their senior squad and was sent out on loan to Burnley and Blackpool to experience senior minutes in the lower leagues of the English pyramid.

Rothwell, meanwhile, turned down an extension offer from the Red Devils and joined League One outfit Oxford United back in the summer of 2016. There he flourished significantly in the middle of the park, and his emergence grabbed the attention of the Blue and Whites, leading to a transfer a couple of years later. Soon he secured a starting status under Tony Mowbray and has retained his place till now with 130 appearances in Blackburn colours.

Despite these assured minutes, the player is keen on experiencing a fresh challenge in the coming days. There’s been no news of contract renewal, and the Rovers would rather cash in on him in winter over losing for free next summer. Rangers have now entered the scene in order to bolster their own setup, particularly after the underwhelming inception compared to last season’s exquisite football.

Rangers target Josh Rothwell in action for Blackburn Rovers
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 24: Joe Rothwell of Blackburn Rovers in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers at Riverside Stadium on January 24, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Having said that, the Gers are well-equipped in the centre of the pitch, with the likes of Steven Davis, Scott Arfield, Joe Aribo, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack, Nnamdi Ofoborh, John Lundstram and Juninho Bacuna challenging each other for first-team slots. Lundstram, Bacuna and Ofoborh have only joined this summer, whereas Kamara, Davis and Aribo still remain the preferred ‘midfield three’, having served them majestically during their ‘invincible’ league triumph.

Why Rangers Might Still Like To Have Rothwell Despite Ample Options

A few things, nevertheless, have been alarming of late regarding the form and fitness concerns. Although they have succeeded in tying down Kamara in a long-term deal, persistent injury problems have halted Jack’s involvement since Steven Gerrard’s appointment as the Ibrox chief.

After a magnificent 2020-21 campaign, soon to be 37, Steven Davis is finally running out of ammo. The iconic Northern Irishman has been their driving force deep down the midfield, but he might not continue beyond the ongoing season upon the expiration of his current terms. Arfield is way past his prime, while the heart issue of Ofoborh has refrained him from getting involved since securing an ambitious transfer.

Gerrard, thus, might opt for more creative spark and flexibility from behind the frontline, and the versatility of Rothwell should improve their standard if a transfer takes place in due course of time.

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