If the reaction to most links with players from the Scottish Premiership is anything to go by, any move to bring in Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland in January would be greeted by derision from most Rangers fans, who, in fairness, react in disgust to the majority of transfer stories anyway. And it’s understandable, most targets are not of the obvious Rangers calibre that will clearly improve our club.
But Shankland? Joint-top scorer in the SPL this season with 11 alongside Rangers’ Antonio Colak (who is having a very dry spell, incidentally) and Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski, Shankland edges both purely on stats simply because he also has a couple of assists to his name as well.
Hearts had a strong start to the season but it tailed off and now it’s fourth-place for them, but Shankland’s form has gone nowhere, and he was very very heavily linked to a move to Rangers during his exceptional time at Ayr. He then did it for Championship Dundee United and is now doing it in the top flight with the Gorgie side having done ok in the Belgium top flight (5 goals 4 assists in 28).
He’s a very decent striker, and a market value of around £1M would have him as a very wise squad addition in January.
Can he improve the team? It’s not just about signing players who can, it’s about making sure there’s strength in depth as well, and Shankland would be a very shrewd addition as someone who can absolutely score in the Premiership.
A Morelos replacement? Well, in the form the Colombian is in these days, probably – Shankland would score for Rangers even if he’s not going to be Mbappe any time soon, but he wouldn’t hurt Rangers’ squad at all and Morelos is likely to leave next month.
Shankland might not be the attractive name that some want, and many will foam at the mouth at the thought of signing a player of his ilk, but the addition would be a wise one for the bread and butter of the SPL and he is of course, absolutely, one of us.
It would also help with the home-grown quota as well, which is a big deal in Europe for Rangers, as manager Michael Beale was at pains to stress.
Rangers could (and have) done worse than Lawrence Shankland.