Monday, 20 May 2019

Why are Rangers signing Greg Stewart?

Rangers fans definitely seem divided over the imminent signing of Birmingham City forward Greg Stewart.

A product of Rangers’ youth academy, Greg has had a pretty solid career, excelling notably at Dundee and Kilmarnock, with less productive spells at Aberdeen and aforementioned English Championship giants thrown in too.

And a great number of fans are looking at the 29-year old and wondering why Rangers are signing him if the overall modus operandi is to ‘get better’.

Well, every signing is a ‘risk’, making this one no different, but when it comes to CV, Stewart, for a free, is a fantastic signing in theory and a very wise acquisition.

First off, as stated, he won’t cost anything. Unlike the annoying saga which led to Kyle Lafferty’s return, Stewart won’t set us back a dime – and certainly not the £650,000 we wasted on the NI international. So it’s a no-risk capture and opponents of the idea would do well to remember that.

Secondly, this is a lad with tonnes of SPL experience, and of delivering in the SPL – he’s produced for two varying teams of varying quality – a mediocre Dundee and a brilliant Kilmarnock, while struggling more at Aberdeen.

Now, a lot of fans aren’t aware that Derek McInnes used Stewart as a utility man, constantly shifting his position around. He didn’t score many at Pittodrie, but equally he was never used as an out-and-out striker – he bounced between the wings and as a number 10 – in short, he was shunted all over the forward line and was never settled. At Killie he was very much more so and he scored and created a tonne.

Thirdly, Stewart is one of us – he knows what it means to play for us. Sure, that ‘caveat’ gets used to back a lot of signings who turn out duds. But nevertheless it will never be a negative to sign a Rangers fan, no matter how it eventually works out.

Fourth – Rangers need someone to replace the dreadfully poor Kyle Lafferty. The ex-Norwich man just hasn’t produced at Ibrox, and Steven Gerrard needs someone in a similar mould but who will step up where Lafferty hasn’t. Of course, there is no guarantee Stewart will, but equally there’s no guarantee anyone will so that’s just an intrinsic risk anyway. At least Stewart does not come with the baggage the big man has, and may be a hell of a lot lower maintenance as well.

Fifth – yesterday made it abundantly clear Rangers’ fringe players don’t cut it. The guys who came in simply aren’t good enough to deputise for the first choices, and players like Stewart may be getting in signed simply to boost the quality of the depth Rangers have. And that’s not an unwise strategy.

Ergo, we know Stewart is not Lionel Messi, but it’s a Bosman with a low risk attached. And fans would do well to give him a fair crack of the whip rather than writing him off before he’s had a chance.

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