Lawrence Shankland is unlikely to feature this weekend at Ibrox. The long-term Rangers ‘target’, a boyhood Rangers fan and still keen to wear the blue, has been nursing injury issues for a number of months and has only been able to manage a solitary appearance for Utd in the top flight.
Famous for excelling in the lower divisions with Dunfermline and Ayr, many Rangers fans have argued he’s clearly unproven in the top flight given his goals have all come in the lower divisions.
And that is true, but there is something many supporters have overlooked – Lawrence Shankland was once an Aberdeen striker and he amassed just one goal in 17 outings for the Dons.
Benched for half of the 14/15 campaign, when Rangers were still in the Championship (therefore we paid little attention to the SPL), Shankland’s time in Scotland’s top flight was extremely poor.
So while the word ‘unproven’ is used to describe what he has done in the SPL, well, actually, it doesn’t do so – he started plenty of matches during his spell at Pittodrie, aged 20, and was pretty substandard.
So he is ‘proven’ – he’s ‘proven’ to not be good enough at that level. One goal in 17 outings is nowhere near good enough, and no one is going to spin the line that Aberdeen wasn’t the right fit. At that time, they were Celtic’s biggest challengers by a mile, and if Shankland, who scored 7 in 13 the previous season at Dunfermline, couldn’t handle them, what chance does he have at Ibrox?
It’s true, players do change, and maybe he could deal with the pressure now – but going by his track record, Shankland just isn’t good enough, stats-wise, to play for Rangers.