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.
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.