Ryan Jack is a major aberration to Rangers’ new policy under Michael Beale, and that policy is clear: Rangers are massively reducing the average age of the squad by shipping out every player over 30 who was out of contract, and signing players who are younger than 25.
We alluded to this earlier, that Beale wouldn’t entertain Jesse Lingard for as much as his age as anything else, but in general all new additions under Beale are less than 25.
The Ryan Jack case was different – Beale already confirmed he was kept on for the homegrown allocation, just young enough to justify it and for UEFA requirements he helps in that regard.
Steven Davis too is extremely old now in footballer terms, 38-years-old, and his contract is in limbo. He’s not been officially freed, but he’s not being renewed either. Quite frankly he is experiencing from Rangers what Filip Helander is from Malmo – free training/medical care while he gets fit/recovers.
We will see later this summer what Davis’ Rangers fate is to be.
But the reality is Beale wants young players.
The four signings he’s made are all sub-25, and he’s shipped out players in their 30s and late 20s.
And while we’re sure a few key players of more mature years will form the backbone of the side, Beale wants fit, fast, quick, sharp, and young.
This is why Ridvan may now be taking over from Borna, why Tav may be looking behind him at Sterling and probably why Scotty Arfield was freed – too old.
It’s the right path – Rangers have been keeping aging players too long, and when it mattered v Celtic, not only were our players short on cutting edge, they were short on fitness and pace too. Celtic, filled with quick, sharp zippy players, Rangers trudging around with Borna and Lundstram.
And now Beale is addressing this big time, cutting the age, increasing the pace.
It’s a good policy and a pretty clear one at this point as Rangers start to rebuild the squad in earnest for a serious fight with Celtic and the Champions League.