Following weeks of lacking depth at the back, with both Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic starting to run on fumes (albeit still doing sterling jobs) getting some extra bodies in there became absolutely essential. The experiment at Fir Park with three at the back and Jon Flanagan asked to be CB simply didn’t work, and we are delighted to see two new signings finally sorted for the rearguard.
On the face of it, a player who couldn’t get into the Nottingham Forest squad this season at all seems a curious signing, but look further and Joe Worrall was a staple of the City Ground last season and simply lost favour by way of new recruits. The England youth defender has 3 caps for the U21s and four for the U20s – the lad can evidently play a bit and 52 appearances in the Championship at only 21 is an outstanding return. It is a very shrewd signing indeed and will give top class competition where Rangers’ first choices need some.
Meanwhile 38-year old Gareth McAuley is another we’re happy with, as yet another international arrives in Govan. A spring chicken he may not be any more, but his experience at the highest levels of the game will be outstanding leadership for the rather young defence Rangers have (2 x 21 and 1 x 25) and while we wouldn’t expect him to push too much for a cemented first team place, he will come in when the first choices need rest and provide excellent rotational flexibility.
In short, both these additions are very, very wise indeed – a young upstart who can certainly push for a starting berth and equally push Goldson and Katic to be at their very best and ward against complacency, while McAuley is someone for them all to look up to. And added to the fact he’s one of us certainly helps these players truly understand what it means to be a Bear. And to play for the Famous.
All in all, it’s the depth we needed – it gives Gerrard options, depth, and quality in numbers.
And we’re rather pleased about that.