With Rangers now linked with a move for Bolton defender Mark Beevers, it is safe to say fan reaction hasn’t been overly positive.
The move for the 28-year old stopper has come about following the disappointing failure to secure Millwall’s Jake Cooper. The 23-year old defender is one of the jewels of England’s Championship and Steven Gerrard and Mark Allen showed significant nous scouting him out, but ultimately Rangers’ bids did not interest the Lions at all. We imagine had the bid been £5M or above they may have had second thoughts, but a circa £2-3M submission was insufficient to persuade them otherwise.
So, Gerrard has moved on to plan B, and it’s drawn some critical reaction from many supporters, who consider Beevers a ‘Waburton-esque’ signing given his conspicuously low key career in the bowels of English football.
The centre back has never played in England’s top flight, having plied much of his trade in League One and at 28, that is probably a tad underwhelming to many.
Ibrox Noise’s Richard provided some background and profile of the ex-Wednesday man, however, and it would be unfair to suggest it was all doom and gloom.
The guy is a tough, no-nonsense defender, with aerial power and some organisational skill. He was part of League One’s TOTS recently and while that level is hardly marquee, it’s still an honour to be rated one of the best two centre backs in your division.
However, while Jake Cooper truly excited us, we must admit reservations about Beevers. He is regarded as slow, cumbersome, indisciplined, gaffe-prone and sadly the adjective ‘carthorse’ has been used in his direction.
His solitary cap for his country only at youth level does beg the question of how useful a signing he’d be, but in more positive news he does have 236 appearances in England’s championship which really is a good level. He strikes us in some senses of a younger Clint Hill on that front.
His appearances in League One number less, at 136, so the majority of his career has been in England’s second top flight, for Bolton, Millwall and Wednesday.
Alas most of the talk about him has been about his mistakes, and the tendency he has to make big ones. There is often a reason a strong, useful, dominant centre back doesn’t quite hit the heights in his career, and usually it’s concentration.
Add to that, in Beevers’ case a lack of pace and also discipline, and it’s certainly not as inspiring a target as Cooper was.
That said, none of us were especially over the moon about aforementioned Hill and he turned out one of the best defenders over the past three years at Ibrox.
Yes, on the face of it it does seem a bit of a step down from a target like Cooper, but not all books can be judged by their covers.