With January now a distant memory, and Rangers’ failure to secure a new striker well-documented, just where are we up front?
Ibrox Noise assesses the striker situation definitively, and we will have a look where things sit when it comes to our men in attack.
Let’s initially look at who isn’t there:
Abdallah Sima, out for at least another two months with a thigh tear.
Danilo, out for at least 3+ months with a bad knee knock. Required surgery.
Sam Lammers, away on loan now and probably done at Rangers.
Kemar Roofe, ongoing injury problems. He’s sort of currently fit-ish, but he’s well out of the picture for now.
So that’s four options gone.
It leaves two men total:
Fabio Silva and Cyriel Dessers.
Looking at them in turn…
He’s turned round the popularity stakes, with the majority of the fanbase finally seeing what Ibrox Noise has been babbling about for 4 months. He will never be graceful but he’s a hard worker, and a decent scorer. He offers a lot of graft up front, and he’s finally getting that credit he’s deserved for a long time.
The problem with Dessers is he’s not particularly good at any one thing. He’s not a prolific scorer, he’s not good in the air, he’s not good on the ground, he can’t dribble, and he’s not strong or composed enough to hold the ball up.
So he’s not a 9 and he’s not an 11.
Which means he’s in a nowhere land of ‘forward’ who happens to score some goals. He’s good at pressing, and running, yes, but if you expect polished front-man play from him, you’ll be disappointed.
He is, however, definitely good at showing up against high-calibre teams and producing big assists – this season alone he has 5 goals and assists in Europe in 9 appearances. That’s top notch.
But then he comes on v Livi and skies over the bar from 3 yards.
Dessers is frustrating at times, but he’s getting the credit he deserves now.
He’d been notably unimpressive on every level, but then he had a bit of a breakthrough against Livi – he held the ball up ok, worked hard off the ball, showed some nice touches and of course got his first goal for the club.
The big deal here is the youngster showed the first signs he has a bit about him, against a strong physical team who low blocked the heck out of things. He can only get better from here, and he did demonstrate he can be a striker solution after all.
We don’t want to say too much more than that.
Rangers are not as bad up front as we feared. We do lack a clinical 20+ goal a season man up top, neither of our strikers are going to get big goals, and we will likely be relying on James Tavernier yet again.
And yet, that seems to work. Dessers and Silva have their qualities, and while individually not maybe the complete solution, a combination of these two in rotation seems to compliment the rest of the team and it overall does the job.
Fans might be disappointed we don’t have a Colak or Morelos or indeed Daniel Cousin these days, but all is far from lost with Silva and Dessers.