Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Rangers Among The Clubs Keeping Close Eyes On Championship Attacker: What Should The Gers Do?

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Pratyay Maitra
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Rangers might have qualified for the Champions League after years of agony, but their dreadful performance in the competition has cast doubts over Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s future as the Light Blues chief. Their sporting director Ross Wilson must also be criticized for an underwhelming recruitment drive, particularly after securing the Champions League group stage berth. However, the former Southampton chief has now sent scouts to monitor Jerry Yates as revealed by the Scottish Sun.

But they are not alone in the hunt with at least ten clubs keeping close tabs on the Blackpool centre-forward. The representatives of Brentford, Bournemouth, West Brom and Watford were in attendance at Bloomfield Road during the Seasiders’ 4-2 win against Preston North End and the 25-year-old Englishman did not disappoint either as he netted a brace as well as assisted CJ Hamilton in the closing moments of the contest.

Although they are currently 18th in the Championship standings, Yates is currently the league’s highest goalscorer (8 goals) jointly with Norwich City’s Josh Sergent, Oscar Estupiñán of Hull City along with Blackburn Rovers’ attacker Ben Brereton. He is comfortable across the frontline but has lately settled in down the left in Michael Appleton’s 4-3-3 set-up.

Yates progressed through the academy ranks of Rotherham United before leaving permanently for Blackpool a couple of summers ago. He failed to make the cut at his boyhood club with only 52 senior appearances over six seasons, and his loan spells (with Harrogate Railway Athletic, Harrogate Town and Carlisle United) were not impressive enough to grab a regular role in the Millers’ colours.

Meanwhile, a productive stint with League Two side Swindon Town earned him some attention and Blackpool, then competing in League One, gambled on his potential which proved to be a masterstroke. Yates fired in 20 goals en route to clinching promotion to the second tier of the English pyramid and his 8 league goals last season were crucial in terms of claiming a mid-table finish under Neil Critchley.

Why Rangers Must Tie Down The Attacker

While the attacking ace has already equalled his 2021-22’s tally in 16 Championship games, the Light Blues must pay a fee of around £5m to secure his services. His current deal is set to expire in 2024, also the Lancashire side could trigger a further one-year extension if certain conditions are met.
Alfredo Morelos, now the understudy to Antonio Colak due to form and fitness reasons, is allowed to talk to his suitors and sign a pre-contract from January onwards. Kemar Roofe has struggled to stay fit since plying his trade to Rangers, whereas the future remains uncertain for Ryan Kent with less than a year remaining in his agreement with the Glasgow giants. The Gers have roped in the likes of Joe Aribo, John Lundstram and Tom Lawrence from south of the border in the recent past and it remains to be seen whether the versatile forward join their ranks in the due course of time.
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