My God Ibrox Noise (and many others) have penned a tonne on Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland.
He’s become the new Alan Smith or Robbie Fowler, for fans of a certain vintage, and more recently, Vlad Weiss.
Bottom line, he’s a player who seems systematically destined to sign for Rangers, linked with us every window, and would be a fan favourite and idolised instantly.
He’s one of us, and he 100% wants to come.
So, next bottom line – is he actually good enough?
Ibrox Noise used to describe him as more than good enough for squad and experienced in the Scottish Premiership, but this was a long time ago, and the lad has matured, evolved and developed into one of the most potent strikers in the SPL.
Many would argue the best.
He is top scorer in our league and just keeps doing it.
The big question many have is though would he step up to Rangers?
See, at Hearts matches are more even – teams don’t really sit in on the Gorgie side, there is no real low block, so Shankland gets fairly easy space to find pockets and batter the ball home.
He wouldn’t get that same space at Ibrox.
That is absolutely true, but then, neither did Jermain Defoe or Antonio Colak and these two were arguably the most natural finishers Rangers have had for years and had no trouble finding the net.
Even in a claustrophobic Motherwell or St Mirren defence.
There’s also a question of pace. Shankland isn’t blessed with it – but any striker will tell you it’s not about pace, it’s about movement, and making the right runs.
Yes pace will help in a breakaway, but Rangers don’t play counter-attacking football so it’s not really a big boost.
Name the last 9 Rangers had blessed with mega pace and who was lethal with it. Exactly.
Being a striker for Rangers or any team is about reading lines, playing off the shoulder, and timing one’s runs.
It’s about positionally-reading where to be at any moment and beating the offside trap.
It’s about getting the right yard on the defender and finding room for a pass and shot. It’s always been about that, be it for low-blocked Rangers or anyone else.
And on those fronts Shankland is as good as anyone.
He will not outrun quick defenders, but he’ll be in positions they didn’t think of, and that’s what a top striker does.
Is Shanks quick?
In the mind he’s 100MPH, and he would find the goal for fun for Rangers.
So is he any good?