As Rangers prepare to face Aberdeen on Tuesday for Scottish football’s return from the rescheduled winter break, Ibrox Noise takes you through the personnel status following injury/absences/Covid.
Just who will not be available come Tuesday?
Obviously, dumb one to start with, no Nathan Patterson – the 20 year old completed his move to Everton during the break and is no longer an option. But he doesn’t count, right?
Ryan Jack remains uncertain. The state of play with the former Don remains an issue of contention, and the best information at hand is the midfielder is due to ‘return’. We don’t even know if this means training or selection contention, so we’d just assume training, but of course, Gio said all this before the break was brought forward. Said, that is, that he’d hope to have Jack after the winter break, but that was when it was due to end in late January. Now that it’s to end in a few days, Jack’s prognosis is far from clear. We suspect February at the earliest and hope to be wrong.
Kemar Roofe is in the same boat – picked up a niggle and was ruled out for the winter break, but when the break was to be from the 3rd onwards. So he’d have been ready for late January, but now we’re again not sure. But we know he’s extremely unlikely to be available this weekend.
Filip Helander remains out as well, getting closer we hope, but he was ruled out till February give or take and that hasn’t changed.
Then there’s Leon Balogun. Missing his country’s entire AFCON, the big Nigerian has been injured GVB’s entire tenure as well, and given he had to pull out of Cameroon we’d be staggered if he’s fit come Tuesday.
Joe Aribo of course is IN Cameroon so Rangers will be without his services for as long as the Super Eagles soar high in Africa.
And lastly Stephen Kelly has left on loan (does he count?) to Salford so obviously isn’t available for selection till next season now.
Thankfully all of the rest of the squad is available, with the current additions of new signing James Sands and promoted Leon King.
So as things stand, Rangers’ squad for Aberdeen is thus:
McGregor, McLaughlin, McCrorie, Tavernier, Goldson, King, Bassey, Barisic, Kamara, Sands, Davis, Lundstram, Arfield, Hagi, Kent, Wright, Sakala, Itten, and Morelos.
The likes of Simpson, Hastie and Barker are unlikely to be included.