If a report from the Scottish Sun is believed to be true, Rangers outcast Jack Simpson might be handed an escape route by Middlesbrough. The Championship side are keen on bolstering themselves this month and have identified the ex-Bournemouth youngster as one of their transfer targets.
The 25-year-old centre-half joined the Light Blues a year ago as he failed to grab the first-team status at his boyhood club. He made 35 appearances for the Cherries before plying his trade north of the border, however, the situation did not improve much when he found a place as the fourth-choice behind Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Filip Helander.
Simpson only featured 7 times last season and his minutes were cut short even more following the emergence of Calvin Bassey in a makeshift central defensive role. The Englishman was already omitted from their Europa League squad and has started just twice so far this term. Steven Gerrard’s exit did not help his case as he failed to impress Giovanni van Bronckhorst enough in recent months. The Dutch gaffer does not fancy him either in his long-term plans and the defender, therefore, is free to find a new destination this winter.
Boro have scripted a massive resurgence under Chris Wilder who has been appointed as the new Riverside chief Neil Warnock’s successor. The ex-Sheffield United chief is an admirer of Simpson’s traits and a return to England might take place before the window is slammed shut. A loan move is on the cards and the player, too, should grab this opportunity of resurrecting his career.
Why Rangers Should Bolster The Backline Irrespective Of Simpson’s Future
Rangers, meanwhile, have secured the services of USMNT international James Sands from New York City FC on an initial 18-month loan deal (with an option to buy). The youngster is expected to strengthen their backline for years to come, whereas on-loan Nikola Katic deserves one more chance to reclaim a regular role from next season onwards. Filip Helander and Leon Balogun should be retained as well given their experience and expertise in the defensive third.
Having said that, they might undergo a crisis unless new names are roped in prior to the upcoming campaign. Connor Goldson has not extended his contract and is likely to part ways on a Bosman transfer. Balogun would be in his mid-thirties soon, also the persistent injury problems have refrained Helander from featuring week in week out. Bassey is more effective as a left fullback, thanks to his flair, aggression and marauding runs, and the club must aim for reinforcements irrespective of Simpson’s future.