Steven Gerrard has admitted what we said here on the site only inside the past 24 hours – Rangers’ squad is too big and needs whittled down.
We have praised a great portion of the work done this summer, in gaining six new signings with a potential seventh and eighth still being worked on, but it doesn’t alter the problem that only five players have actually left and the squad was already too large to begin with.
Gareth McAuley, Joe Worrall, Lee Wallace, Lee Hodson and Lassana Coulibaly either saw their deals expire or their loans end, and all five have moved on – in the case of Wallace and Hodson it was a non-issue given they weren’t involved for varying reasons, but Coulibaly, Worrall and, to an extent, McAuley certainly were part of the already oversized squad.
And to solve that issue, seven current squad members, contracted beyond this summer, have been told they’re surplus. But unfortunately for now they remain on our books, and while none of them went to Portugal, Gerrard’s acquisition of another six players while seven and eight could well arrive soon too does suggest a hell of a lot of work is needed to thin this herd further.
As Gerrard put it:
“The squad is big right now. We have 28 players with us right now. The board haven’t said and they haven’t put me under any pressure but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out the squad is too big. I have to be honest and tell people they won’t get the game time that will satisfy them.”
And that 28 is those who went to Portugal – and doesn’t include the further two hopefully arriving (Aribo and Kent) nor any further defensive enhancements or the seven players so far told to stay at home and find new clubs.
So depending on events off the pitch, it could end up being 37 which is just absurd.
Rangers desperately need to cut the dead wood loose as soon as possible. And if it takes a few mutual consents to do that, so be it.