Michael Beale could be ready to spring surprise Rangers Ben Davies selection

Michael Beale could be ready to spring surprise Rangers Ben Davies selection
NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 26: Ben Davies of Rangers is challenged by Alessio Zerbin of Napoli during the UEFA Champions League group A match between SSC Napoli and Rangers FC at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on October 26, 2022 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Michael Beale could be ready to spring a surprise Rangers selection on Thursday by deploying Ben Davies in his secondary left back position, giving Rangers potentially a pretty solid rearguard depth of Tavernier, Goldson, Sands/King, and Devine/Davies.

Rangers fans are yet to see our summer signing playing in anything other than centre back, but the reason ex-manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst signed Davies was as a direct Calvin Bassey replacement, given he is left-sided and comfortable at both CB and LB.

Indeed, while he has a very respectable 202 appearances at CB, he has almost 80 as LB, with half in League Two for York, albeit he has drifted away from that slot in recent seasons with just 31 appearances at LB since 2014.

So it’s clear it’s not a position he’s regular in, but it could be very useful as cover if Michael Beale deems the former Preston and Liverpool man to be fit enough to start.

It is critical Beale gets off to a winning beginning – and Davies is clearly, as a £4M signing, part of his strongest XI for now unless he stamps his own mark on it come January. As for Adam Devine? Impressing in a friendly is completely meaningless, just ask Rabbi Matondo who looked excellent against Spurs in the summer, but has been absolutely awful since then.

Devine needs to impress like that in serious competition if he’s to be taken seriously, and he’s not come close to delivering the levels in the way his Auchenhowie predecessor Nathan Patterson did at the same age.

So Beale may prefer to go with Davies, even if not fully match fit – because he’s the better option on that side for the moment.

But either way, as the Rangers manager rightly said, now he has four options at the back and not two, and that makes a world of difference. Add to that two full backs and we now have 6 players to cover the rear. Not perfect, but it’s better than it was.

The question is what will Beale do with the options he now has when Lee Johnson’s side come to Ibrox.

We wait and see.

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