There’s uncertainty ahead for Rangers quartet Ianis Hagi, Tom Lawrence, Kemar Roofe and Antonio Colak after manager Michael Beale’s summer work and squad reshaping spelled insecurity for all four of Rangers’ attacking assets.
With injuries blighting these four players’ seasons last campaign, the attackers are seeing Beale adding a bunch of new talent this summer plus the previous additions in January, and there is no doubt a question mark hangs over their heads at present.
So Ibrox Noise will take you through each man and what their prospects are going forward.
He’s been linked away for years, and his father’s comments haven’t really helped him either, but the biggest hindrance of course is the horror ACLI he sustained. He’s basically been out of football for 18 months and he’s struggling to return to his old self, although he’s now back at Auchenhowie for preseason. In the meantime Todd Cantwell has taken over in that position and is arguably the club’s best player. Hagi will have to either accept a bench place or find a new club. Since arriving in January 2020 he’s amassed 96 appearances. Of a possible 210 it’s far from ideal, and while not as bad as the departed Filip Helander or current teammate Kemar Roofe’s returns respectively, it’s still below value for money. He’s expendable.
There is still very much a vacancy on the left for Lawrence – if the Welshman, who is also back training for preseason can keep fit, he might just help to fill in a big void left by the departed Ryan Kent. Rangers currently have no absolute left winger, and the position could be for Lawrence to win. But he needs to prove himself under this manager.
This is another ‘if he can stay fit’ one – but he’s not been able to do that in three years, and yet still no word on him being surplus or told he can leave. Because Rangers know how good this guy is if he can stay healthy. He is the most natural finisher at the club besides Antonio Colak, plus his sense of reading the game and pace not to mention power and dribbling skills would see him being a £15M-£20M player, but for his inability to last more than a few matches before breaking down. It’s hard to call this one.
The signings of Sam Lammer and, imminently, Cyriel Dessers, do suggest that Colak’s opportunities will be limited, but let’s not forget he missed a lot of last season through injury. He’s a fantastic finisher with all-round ability too, but we’re not sure Michael Beale is overly keen on him. He’s doing what he can in preseason, posting lots of videos of his doing workouts and trying to be what the manager wants, but end of the day, he has competition. And a lot of it.
All four of these guys want football next season – they’d like it at Ibrox, but it’s uncertain how many of them will get their wishes. We’ll see.