There may be a shock reason why Rangers haven’t, and indeed it seems, won’t be making the move for Lawrence Shankland.
As Rangers supporters know, there’s a long-standing link with the Hearts captain. He’s one of us, he’s Scotland’s top scorer, and he wouldn’t be an absolute fortune.
However, on top of the staggering stats recently from Ibrox Noise which showed that Cyriel Dessers is actually more efficient with the chances he gets than Shankland (getting half of them on target while Shankland is closer to a third), another stunning number may reveal much more data-driven reason as to Rangers’ reluctance:
No player in the SPL turns the ball over more than Lawrence Shankland.
In second place in this stat? And only at distance… Abdallah Sima.
To explain more, turning over is losing the ball, or being downright dispossessed of it. Two different stats. Shankland, by a MILE, with 83 bad touches, is the worst in the SPL for losing the ball unnecessarily. You think Sima is bad for losing the ball? Shankland is much worse. Sima has lost it 66 times.
And it gets no better at dispossessed. By a country mile Shankland gets robbed more than anyone else, 59 times so far this season, with Youan of Hibs the only rival with 43 dispossessions.
No Rangers player comes remotely close in this regard.
Rangers are extremely data-driven – we work with data and how it matches our game and our system. We go with players who fit that.
And Shankland is literally horrendous for losing the ball or being robbed of it.
With the way Rangers play, possession-based football with an emphasis on keeping the ball, Shankland simply won’t fit in. He will lose the ball repeatedly and concede possession back to the opponent.
His strength? Right place right time to finish chances, but even then, he’s nowhere near as efficient with them as Dessers.
So the reason we’ve not apparently moved for Shankland may well be data-based. The simple fact the boy loses the ball constantly.
And it’s nothing to do with who he plays for, because no other player in the SPL, regardless of their club, comes close to his terrible numbers here.
How long before he’s lost the ball repeatedly and fans start asking for his blood?
One to ponder…