Thursday, August 11, 2022

Rangers Eyeing A Summer Swoop For This French Midfielder: Why They Must Get The 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.

According to reports in Belgium (as cited by the Daily Record), Rangers have set their sights on Abdoulaye Sissako over a potential summer move. The Zulte Waregem midfielder is unlikely to extend his stay in Belgium beyond this campaign and the Gers, therefore, are exploring the possibility of roping him on Bosman prior to the upcoming term.

Sissako, 23, represented France at the youth level while progressing through the academy ranks of Auxerre. He broke into their senior side and went on to make 18 first-team appearances before joining fellow Ligue 2 side LB Châteauroux on a free transfer. There he showed glimpses of his midfield mastery that earned him a move to the Jupiler Pro League outfit back in summer 2019.

Meanwhile, the youngster has flourished significantly in recent months overcoming injury woes. So far, he has scored and assisted twice each in 18 league appearances from the middle of the park. He has not only been effective as a ‘number 6’ but also exhibited his expertise in a box-to-box role.

Although the West Flanders side has an option to trigger the one-year extension clause of his contract, Sissako is keen on a fresh challenge to develop his skills elsewhere. Greek heavyweights Panathinaikos might reignite their interest after a failed attempt in winter and as things stand, Rangers are not alone in the hunt for the French midfield star.

Rangers target Abdoulaye Sissako in action
Beerschot’s Denis Prychynenko and Essevee’s Abdoulaye Sissako fight for the ball during a soccer match between SV Zulte Waregem and Beerschot VA, Sunday 24 January 2021 in Waregem, on day 21 of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ first division of the Belgian championship. BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS (Photo by DAVID PINTENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via 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/).

Why Rangers Must Rope In Sissako 

The Light Blues have ample options in the centre of the pitch but, at the same time, might undergo a significant crisis amid potential exits. Steven Davis and Scott Arfield will be free agents this summer, whereas Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo have been drawing attention from Premier League for quite some time.

John Lundstram and Ryan Jack have settled in as the double pivot, but the January recruit James Sands is still attuning to the demands of Scottish football. Injury-ravaged Aaron Ramsey might not return to Ibrox beyond his loan stint and the forgotten Nnamdi Ofoborh has not kicked the ball all season having been diagnosed with heart issues during pre-season.

Rangers, under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, have not been able to keep pace with Celtic in the Premiership race. However, they are still going strong in Europe and have progressed to the semifinals of the Europa League competition. The European success makes them an ideal destination for rising stars and Sissako, too, must grab this opportunity to grow his game in Scotland.

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