With Sam Lammers about to be announced, the Dutch striker will become Rangers manager Michael Beale’s fourth summer signing, following Kieran Dowell, Dujon Sterling and Jack Butland.
But with Allan McGregor, Filip Helander, Scott Arfield, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos now departed of the building, what kind of Rangers XI do we currently have, and where do things stand?
Of course, there is plenty of work to be done on the squad, but for now, a little bit of conjecture is the order of the day as we look at an XI we can currently pick.
In goals, obviously it’s Butland. Sorry Robby, you’re deputy for now, unless Butland doesn’t impress. With his CV he should, but hey, we’ve been disappointed before, isn’t that right Joey? And we fully expected Ridvan to succeed Borna given the price tag, but that didn’t happen. But yeah, as things stand, it’s Butland.
In defence three of the picks are actually in place: James Tavernier, John Souttar and Ridvan.
It’s finding the partner for Souttar, with work being done in the direction of Jonathan Panzo. Connor Goldson’s future is a little less certain – he’s probably not going anywhere but he’s not as reliably fit as he once was. Borna Barisic is now fighting with Ridvan. Defence, really, is mostly sorted. Even if we’re not terribly keen on some of the choices. Sterling is probably just depth for Tavernier.
Midfield is also well underway. Kamara is going, and Davo is technically out of contract, but the rest are all in place – Jack, Raskin, Lundstram and Cantwell. There’s Dowell who’s depth for Cantwell and Hagi is currently… well, hard to say. We still hope to secure Difuentes because we need at least one big strong lad in there.
On the wings is a mess. A complete and total mess. Kent is gone, and all we have is Scott Wright, who will also go, Kemar Roofe who is always injured, and more of a ‘forward’ anyway, and Fashion Sakala who is very inconsistent, is also technically more of a ‘forward’ – both of them score goals but they’re not so much playmakers. We really have poor options here. We can’t rely on Tom Lawrence for fitness either. A lot of work needed in this area.
And up front it’s Colak and Lammers as things (probably stand).
So, a crude look at an XI in progress?
Butland; Tavernier, Souttar, Panzo/Goldson, Ridvan; Raskin, Cifuentes, Cantwell; Lammers, Colak.
While it’s embryonic and the window only technically just opened today, it shows some potential already.
Thankfully we do have about a month to get it fully ready. Our concerns are at RB as always, with Tavernier always so vulnerable, while midfield isn’t physically that strong. Raskin and Cantwell have grit about them and both fight, but neither of them are big bullies who can dominate the middle in terms of pure enforcer. Up front we love Colak but don’t think he will be part of Michael Beale’s plans, while Lammers really is a risk of a signing.
It is, of course, exposition and conjecture. We don’t know who else we’re getting this window, nor can we be sure who will move on, but while for us James Tavernier is a major weak link at the back and central defence could do with a bit of muscle too, overall there’s a reasonable template which is hopefully going in the right direction.
It has promise.