Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rangers Have Joined The Race For This West Ham United Defender: 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.

If a report from the Scottish Sun is believed to be true, Rangers are eyeing a summer swoop for West Ham’s Emmanuel Longelo. But they are not alone in the hunt with newly-promoted Bournemouth keeping close tabs on his availability alongside Millwall as well as fellow Premiership opponents Hibernian.

The 21-year-old left fullback progressed through the youth ranks of the Hammers before breaking into their senior side in a League Cup tie against Hull City. He grabbed attention last year in their Europa League outing versus Dinamo Zagreb and a host of clubs, therefore, are now keen on securing his services in the upcoming window.

The Gers, however, are sweating over Calvin Bassey’s future amid rumours of his potential reunion with Steven Gerrard at Villa Park. Borna Barisic has underperformed all throughout the previous term and the emergence of Bassey as a centre-half leaves them with little depth down the left-hand side of a four-man backline.

Rangers target Emmanuel Longelo in action for West Ham
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 09: Emmanuel Longelo of West Ham United challenges Amer Gojak of Dinamo Zagreb during the UEFA Europa League group H match between West Ham United and Dinamo Zagreb at Olympic Stadium on December 09, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/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/).

The Irons, on the other hand, have Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku challenging each other for the left-back spot. Although David Moyes has promoted academy star Ben Johnson on the right, Longelo does not seem to have an instant first-team future in East London. Meanwhile, a move to Ibrox should see him attaining regular gametime as it happened for Bassey when he left Leicester City for the Glasgow giants.

Why Rangers Must Not Give Up The Chase

According to The Athletic, Rangers are aiming for a new left-back as part of their squad refresh. Stoke City’s Josh Tymon has been a transfer target, but the £5m valuation of the Englishman is a bit too much for a side who have certain financial limitations and budget constraints. They must raise funds from player sales or cement a place in the Champions League group stages to grab a monetary boost in the coming days.

Despite the limited senior experience, Longelo could prove to be a more economical yet quality alternative to Tymon given a full pre-season under Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The youngster is known for his overlapping runs, blistering pace and attacking intent down the left-hand flank, and the Light Blues should benefit from his arrival provided he replicates his U23s form for his new employers.

West Ham, nevertheless, should not let their prized asset depart on a minuscule figure. They should push for a season-long loan before making the final call and Rangers thus must undergo extensive negotiation to secure his services for years to come.

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