We’ve touched on this, but we’re leaving our opinion of who should stay and leave Rangers out of it – this is about what Michael Beale, the Rangers manager, appears to want himself.
So in this piece, we’re looking at how Rangers under Beale seem set to fill out next season, with the players he wants and the ones he doesn’t.
We know the exiting men – McGregor, Helander, Arfield, Kent and Morelos.
We know some of those probably being sold or freed – Mclaughlin and Wright. Davis, a distinct possibility here too.
But the ones Beale wants as part of his XI?
All bets are off in goal – we’re not even sure he’s that fussed about Robby McCrorie. He’s made a promise that the youngster would be first choice for the rest of the season but already last night he was back on the bench. Sure, it was to facilitate McGregor’s final appearance but both could have taken a half.
The three that he appears happy with are James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and John Souttar. There will be discussions with Borna Barisic, and while Ben Davies’ situation is a bit unclear, Beale has only spoken well of him and has hinted he will stay. Ridvan is one we like but again, Beale’s intentions on the Turk aren’t obvious. Leon King is surely nowhere near good enough.
Just Raskin, Cantwell, Dowell, and Jack are assured of anything – Kamara looks like he will be sold, Lundstram is another one awaiting discussions.
This is where it’s really, really messy. The players we have under contract now are the perennially injured Roofe, the supposedly returning Lawrence, the maybe signing Tillman, the not-quite-at-it-yet Hagi, the being sold Wright, the ‘a bit away’ Lowry, and the unconvincing Sakala and Matondo. We do not know what Antonio Colak’s prospects are, but we suspect they’re limited.
So, as things stand…
We basically have no goalie because we’re not sure McCrorie is a Beale favourite, defence does have options but desperately needs work done on it, midfield is a bit limited, and attack is questionable.
So the genuine squad to starters of the current group:
Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Ridvan, Barisic, Jack, Raskin, Cantwell, Dowell.
There are an absolute tonne of players who simply have no bets on them, and even with Barisic and Ridvan we’re taking a bit of a gamble including them given both players’ statuses.
Without the two LBs, and including the currently-injured Goldson, we’re talking about 7 players in Tav, Goldson, Souttar, Jack, Raskin, Cantwell and Dowell who are definitively part of Beale’s plans going forward.
McCrorie, Barisic, Ridvan, Davies, King, Lundstram, Kamara, Lowry, Wright, Roofe, Lawrence, Hagi, Sakala, Tillman and Colak can all look at their situation and feel very vulnerable. Some are injured, some are actively wanting to leave, and some have expiring contracts in the next year. And Tillman is a ‘maybe signing we’re not quite sure yet’.
So that leaves, at present, just 7 players that are absolutely certain to be in Beale’s plans next term, and that gives some idea of just how much potential turnover we’re going to see this summer.
Much change is coming.