With talk persisting about Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland up front, and Aberdeen’s Connor Barron in the middle, Ibrox Noise wanted to feasibly analyse what positions Rangers actually require strengthening in.
True, technically the answer is ‘all of them’ bar goalie, and it’s true that the current squad falls some way short of the Rangers Standard groups our team used to boast in the past.
World class players like Gough, Mols, Numan, Ferguson et al are generally beyond our budget and indeed even Auchenhowie just doesn’t produce players of that standard any more.
So within our limitations, within the market we’re currently in, what do we need to do? What can we do?
Well, we do know we’re signing a striker next month as a matter of urgency. We have just one available out-and-out striker in Cyriel Dessers but he’s failing to convince everyone that he’s cut out for the role.
So that one is in hand, and with fans whining for a new striker, he’s coming. Ok!
But what else do we need?
As we say, trying to be reasonable about the matter and not just buying a whole squad, the idea at this point is pinpoint the true weaknesses, the positions which fall well below the quality we need, and then get as close to a Rangers Standard player or two in those slots.
And we’d have to say that both wings desperately need quality.
Left wing has no one. Sima isn’t a left winger, he’s a natural goalscorer, who is only finding out now his identity. Tom Lawrence is a career left winger but is out long term, so that area is now badly weakened.
Right wing? Ross McCausland has a bright future but is a mile off proven – he had two good performances and since then while looking tenacious, appears to have levelled off a little and hasn’t impacted the matches so well. Overrated? We hope not, and we’ll give him time to develop.
Meanwhile Rabbi Matondo has been here 16+ months and still isn’t persuading anyone he’s a viable solution.
So it’s safe to say that with Philippe Clement using wingers and width to an important degree, we need quality players out there.
So what could we do?
Well there’s Killie’s Daniel Armstrong. He’s impressed a lot of fans with his impact, and had an outstanding match v Celtic at the weekend. An assist, 4 key passes, 4 shots and he even hit the upright. He was fouled 5 times, managed 3 dribbles and his only ‘weakness’ was a modest passing accuracy at about 64%. But he was clearly MOTM and at 26 is developing into his prime years.
He wouldn’t cost the earth and he’s out of contract in 18 months.
He is also versatile and can play both flanks, but his main one is right and of course he’s extremely experienced at this level, and even has 32 appearances in the PL2, which is still a lot higher than the Scottish Premiership.
He could be one who could help in that position, but that said, we’ll need more than just him…