Steven Gerrard’s admission yesterday that Rangers will be seeking to replace outgone winger Daniel Candeias strikes us as a very strange comment indeed.
Gerrard has, of course, been very vocal about needing to trim the bloated squad he has down, and if any one position is thoroughly overpopulated, it’s wing.
Before his sale, Candeias was one of he, Jamie Murphy, Glenn Middleton, Eros Grezda, Jake Hastie, Jordan Jones and Sheyi Ojo. That’s a total of seven wingers and we’ve probably forgotten one or two.
With the Portuguese gone, it’s now three left wingers (Jones, Murphy and Middleton) and three right (Grezda, Ojo and Hastie) with of course interchanging possible too.
But why would the manager, so public about confirming our squad size is just too big, immediately seek to replace a squad player?
Was it just lip service to suggest an open-minded approach to the rest of the window? We’re not quite sure.
When it comes to Candeias’ position, Rangers are completely set. We have more than enough options and there is zero need to bring someone else in to replace him. Some might say ‘trust in Stevie’ and he is certainly earning that more and more these days, but this is a question of basic logic and if he seeks to trim the squad, replacing the players who he manages to get off the books may seem counter productive.
Some might argue that he didn’t see Candeias as a squad player, that he was good enough that he actually requires replacing within the ranks of the first team squad. We wouldn’t agree there. He showed flashes, yes, and some games definitely saw the best of him, but he was far from irreplaceable and miles from indispensable.
So, only Gerrard knows what else Rangers plan to do with the window, and if he really seeks to sign someone else to replace Candeias.
But we must admit we hope he doesn’t bother. There’s just no need.