Saturday, September 30, 2023

Rangers Close To Rope In This Promising Centre-Back: Beale 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 recent report from the Daily Record is believed to be true, Rangers are closing in on Nottingham Forest youngster Jonathan Panzo. Coventry City and West Brom are also in the queue, but the Glasgow giants are leading the race ahead of a potential £2.5m summer move.

Michael Beale coached the 22-year-old centre-half back in his teenage years at Chelsea. However, he failed to make the cut in the Blues’ senior setup, and therefore, joined Monaco to experience a fresh challenge abroad. After a couple of uneventful years, the Englishman joined fellow Ligue 1 side Dijon for first-team football.

Dijon’s relegation in 2021 saw him return to his homeland and join Nottingham Forest who were chasing Premier League promotion under his former England U-17 coach Steve Cooper. Panzo was instrumental under the English boss en route to conquering the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, but he could not secure a starting status this time at City Ground.

Rangers target Jonathan Panzo is in action against West Brom
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 03: Jonathan Panzo of Coventry City is challenged by Marc Albrighton of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City at The Hawthorns on February 03, 2023 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Why Rangers Should Opt For Panzo

Meanwhile, the Three Lions youth international showcased his mettle last season while on loan at Coventry City. Although the Sky Blues suffered a heartbreak against Luton Town in the playoff final, their avidity to retain his services depicts the impact he had in the West Midlands. Having said that, Beale’s connection to the player makes Rangers the frontrunners in this transfer hunt.

The Light Blues are reportedly after a left-sided centre-back and have also made enquiries for Arsenal and USMNT star Auston Trusty. But the transfer fee and wage demands could be too high for them as revealed by Football Scotland.

Rangers have already secured three Bosman signings in Dujon Sterling, Kieran Dowell and Jack Butland. Sterling has been roped in to challenge and cover James Tavernier down the right, but they must restore depth as well as quality in deep defence, particularly after Filip Helander’s exit upon the expiration of his Ibrox contract.

The Light Blues are well-equipped in deep defence with Connor Goldson, Ben Davies, John Souttar and Leon King being deployed as first-team options. Goldson has been ever-present over the years, but he needs a young and stable central defensive partner. Souttar had injury problems throughout the campaign, also, their teenage prodigy Leon King is not yet ready for a regular role week in week out. There will be ample fixtures in the forthcoming season and the addition of Panzo would boost them significantly in terms of resolving the frailties in deep defence.

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