With Rangers finally confirming effective £7M man Joe Aribo, Greg Docherty now finds himself in an interesting position.
While he survived Steven Gerrard’s cull which has seen similarly loaned out Jordan Rossiter told to seek a new club despite his own fine half season in League Two, nevertheless Docherty excelled as an attacking midfielder in League One last campaign, and was indeed Shrewsbury’s player of the year.
However, Steven Gerrard, instead of taking the young Scot back alone and seeking to fit him into the 10 position, elected to sign someone else in his position in the form of Aribo.
Obviously, Docherty used to be a defensive midfielder, but had a stellar season for the Shrews in the 10 slot and got goals and assists a-plenty, with some cracking strikes thrown in.
And that position, having struggled with just the permanently-injured Graham Dorrans and little else, now sees not only Docherty’s return but Aribo’s arrival.
And if we add Scott Arfield’s new advanced position into the mix, Docherty really will have to keep on developing and stepping up levels if he is to get a foothold into this Rangers team.
It’s curious – Docherty excelled as an AM all season in League One, but Gerrard overlooked that to buy Joe Aribo who excelled as an AM all season in League One.
Evidently Rangers want quality depth – not just one top player per position, but two – and by Docherty’s performances last season he counts as one for sure.
Plus his inclusion to Algarve was crucial – so many were left at home, many who might have hoped they would still be part of Gerrard’s Rangers. And of course, not everyone who went to Portugal definitely is part of Stevie’s vision. He took 28 players, let’s not forget, including a handful of youngsters, so there’s definitely thinning to be done still.
But the fact Greg was on that flight bodes far more positively than being left at home, and while Aribo will surely be the first-pick for his position (with the Arfield ‘complication’ in there too), to have an option like Docherty waiting in the wings ensures Aribo will never rest on his laurels.
It’s a good problem to have.