Although Vitesse centre-half Danilho Doekhi admitted his admiration for Rangers and Scottish football in a recent interview (with gelderlander.nl), it won’t be straightforward for the Gers to rope in the centre-half amid growing interest from the Eredivisie leaders PSV. According to De Telegraaf (as quoted by the Daily Record), Roger Schmidt is aiming for the Dutchman this winter following an injury to André Ramalho in their 2-0 win against Go Ahead Eagles.
Apart from PSV, Dinamo Zagreb and Napoli have identified the 23-year-old as a potential transfer target. Meanwhile, the Serie A hotshots have loaned in Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe for the remainder of the campaign and the Light Blues, therefore, must engage in a three-way battle to secure his services.
Doekhi progressed through the youth ranks of Excelsior before making his senior debut back in March 2016. He was then transferred to Ajax’s youth program which, however, was short-lived as he opted for Vites a couple of years later. So far, the former Dutch youth international has appeared 116 times for the Gelderland-based outfit across competitions [stats via Transfermarket] but is ready for a new challenge upon the expiration of his GelreDome contract by the end of the current campaign.
The young centre-back has rejected several extension offers and Vitesse thus would rather prefer his exit this month over losing their skipper for nothing in summer. A move to PSV would allow him to progress and impress in the homeland, but the Gers’ pulling power can’t be ignored given their emergence in recent years. The reputation and connections of boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst in the Netherlands might play a key role in a potential Ibrox transfer. Having said that, Rangers must make the move fairly soon to get the better of his fellow admirers.
Why Rangers Should Step Up The Chase
The Light Blues are undergoing a crisis in the heart of the defensive line. This would grow further in the coming months when Connor Goldson would part ways on a Bosman. Outcast Jack Simpson has failed to earn attention in limited minutes, whereas persistent injury problems have refrained Filip Helander from featuring week in week out. Leon Balogun, too, would be in his mid-thirties prior to the upcoming term.
On-loan Nikola Katic deserves one more opportunity to reclaim his place in the Rangers squad. Also, their latest signing James Sands must make it count by justifying his MLS reputation. Calvin Bassey has shown resilience as a makeshift centre-half, but the Nigerian is more efficient as a left fullback with his energetic runs, cut insides and attacking composure. Goldson’s exit would leave a massive void in the heart of the backline and the signing of Doekhi should restore parity in terms of quality as well as leadership skills.