Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Competition? What awaits Rangers' new stopper....



So we’ve had a little look at the ‘technical’ side of the latest Rangers recruit Jon McLaughlin, but what of the player himself?

Well, the 6ft 4 inch 32-year old has had a modest but solid career. He can’t be called a journeyman because this is only his fifth career club after Bradford, Hearts, Sunderland and Burton, but it’s safe to say the bulk of his time in the game was in England’s League One with shorter spells in the Championship and of course the SPL with Hearts.

He’s conceded 444 goals in 408 career outings, and his market value was a modest six figures when Rangers secured him.

We’re not saying he’s rubbish, nor are we saying he’s outstanding, but like Neil Alexander he has a couple of outings for his country and spent most of his career in middle English football.

In short, he’s a pretty solid deputy, but nevertheless despite his average career, Rangers still perpetuated the line that he’s going to provide competition for Allan McGregor.

That is, to be polite – hogwash.

He’s not in the same solar system as McGregor, never mind the same planet, and he has been signed as a deputy, as backup, someone who’ll get games for the aging number one to take a few breaks now and then.

We know McGregor won’t last forever, and this season could well see a few more downspells for Rangers’ first choice given his advancing years, and it was essential to bring in a reliable solid stopper to cover for him until Robby McCrorie is ready to make the slot his own in a few years.

McLaughlin has signed a two-year deal – he knows he won’t play a tonne, but he’s allowed his contract to expire at Sunderland and taken up the option to come back north, to come home, and just settle a little for 24 months and see where life takes him after that.

We highly doubt he’s been told he’ll play a lot.

McLaughlin is what he is – a contented number two who’s had an honourable but modest career in the game, and decided to get the biggest move of his life (not seeing too many complaints about the ‘Lyle Taylorism’ going on) at this twilight point of it all.

And that’s frankly fine.

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