Defensive crisis – Rangers should make a move for Sweden international


With doubts over Bruno Alves’ performances and future at Ibrox (Rangers are said to be interested in offloading him in January and he is reportedly looking elsewhere himself) it is safe to say Rangers’ defensive depth is probably not the best.

With Fabio Cardoso underwhelming, Danny Wilson continuing to divide fans, David Bates generally regarded as squad material and Ross McCrorie being only young (plus seemingly being moulded into a DM), Rangers could really use a new and high quality talisman at the back to bring some real leadership to the defensive berth.

Sweden’s Joel Ekstrand could fit the bill perfectly, having sought a club since the summer, and the 28-year ex-Swedish international has a pretty competent CV, having spent time in Italy with Udinese and a solid time in England with the likes of Watford and Bristol.

The 6ft 2” colossus is said to be a bit of a unit, a strong lad with the kind of dominance in defence we fleetingly but simply too rarely see from the likes of Alves, and with his best years still ahead of him, he could be a very wise signature to snap up.

Rangers’ options in defence are poor, and Scandinavian players usually do very well in Scotland, settling in pretty easily due to the similarities in culture.

While we do not pretend Ekstrand is Carlos Cuellar, he would provide much-needed leadership at the back, especially in light of Alves’ reportedly imminent departure, and Rangers could do much worse than to take the Swede on till the end of the season to give Rangers something of a rudder at the rear.


  1. The man we should go for is Gareth McCauley. Northern Ireland international sitting on the bench at West Brom. He would be a rock up here, chips in with plenty goals aswell. Get him before the mhanky mob think about it.

  2. Just a quick comment on Hibs' goal last night. If you watch Alves he steers the Hibs forward out to the outside of the box and prevents him from getting a shot or a dangerous cross in. The player plays a deep ball into an area where a Rangers central midfielder should be marking the runner. Alves is a very good defender, lacking in pace certainly, but who uses all his experience in a way not always appreciated by those who snipe at his defensive qualities.

  3. You've missed one important detail, he's injury prone. Rangers need to make it an absolute priority to avoid gambling on injury prone players again. The last thing we need is another wage wasted on the physio table.

  4. I like IN, but I think this article is just wrong
    I think Alves is better than you are giving him credit for. Portugal don't play duds. Doesn't mean he is good enough for us but its a start. re last night, Big Harry makes a very good point. You have to look at all the details to appreciate the whole picture. Their goal was a combination of things, including Barjonas making a mistake I hope he learns from.
    2)Cardoso is young and will hopefully improve. I think he is OK, but not outstanding
    3)Wilson blows a little hot and cold, but has had a lot of partners this season which can be unsettling. I thought he played very well last night
    4)Think you are a little harsh on Bates. He was MOTM against Aberdeen and unlucky to be dropped for Alves. The minute he came on last night I thought well they won't be scoring from a cross now!! He is young and has potential. We are all creaming ourselves about McRorie BECAUSE it is so unusual to settle that quickly at that age. Most players take longer. Bates may turn out to be excellent. We also have young Wilson just signed a new contract. We can't develop youth and sign older players at the same time and there is a limit to how many CBs we can accommodate
    5)Our future, like it or not, is developing players and selling them on. I would not argue against Ekstrand on that score, you need some solidity, but bringing him in would restrict opportunities for the young players already mentioned
    6)Lastly, you say he could provide some much needed leadership, a rudder at the rear. Is there anything to back that up? What has he shown at Udinese, Watford and Bristol that Alves has not shown more of in Italy and for Portugal? You may be right, I would like to see some evidence

    In conclusion, I would agree with you, IF we move Alves on in January, that he would be a decent replacement. But it would have to be one or the other, not both. Developing youth has to be the priority. Wilson with either McCrorie or Cardoso or Bates. The other two as backup, unless McCrorie moves into midfield permanently. Then you have young Wilson to come through. You also never know when a good young Scottish player might come out of contract, like Souttar.

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