Three man blow threat for Rangers as danger looms

Three man blow threat for Rangers as danger looms
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: Joe Aribo of Rangers celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on January 02, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There’s an imminent challenge arising for Rangers, and it’s a ghost haunting us as we get closer to January.

Three of our players are scheduled to play at the African Cup of Nations early next year, leaving them indisposed for our domestic and otherwise campaign.

Unfortunately, two of them are especially critical and one of them is close to that.

Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey could all be unavailable come the international tournament, and while Rangers have asked for permission to hold onto them, this might not be granted.

If you recall, last summer Ianis Hagi sought permission to play for Romania at the Olympics and was denied by his club, so this is something that can go both ways.

But regardless, losing three crucial players would be a giant blow for this club, particular with our central defence lacking depth and Aribo being one of our players of the season already.

With all three gone, we’d be relying on Borna Barisic being fit, and we’d be relying on Connor Goldson (free at this point to chat to other clubs) alongside Jack Simpson.

We have no way of knowing if Filip Helander would be available by then.

Equally, losing Aribo’s ‘rule breaking’ would be a huge blow – he’s integral to our system and his loss would be keenly felt.

End of the day, we hope hugely that Rangers can persuade Nigeria to leave those lads out, and keep them in Govan.

Because boy will we need them.

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