Rangers have been displaying a shrewd approach to the transfer market since last summer and finally look to have a long-term recruitment plan in place.
The biggest single difference between falling away in the league last season and winning it this one is perfectly demonstrated by what happened with our forwards – Alfredo Morelos returned too quickly from injury after Jermain Defoe broke down playing too many consecutive games covering for the Colombian’s suspension and never recovered is form – to this term having four strikers all capable of contributing.
Even if we had one more striker available to alleviate the pressure we might not have seen such a drop off in Morelos’s goal scoring or had to make do without Defoe for so long.
What this means going forwards is that the template has now been laid down for future success, four strikers with different characteristics, each bringing different qualities to the table – similar to when Walter Smith had the likes of Kris Boyd, Daniel Cousin, Jean-Claude Darcheville and Steven Naismith at his disposal.
For all that Champions League football would be hard for him to turn down with Rangers, Alfredo Morelos will surely be sold in the summer and there will be a better use of the wages than extending Jermain Defoe’s contract for another season which leads me to who we should target to add to the squad.
With Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten already in place, we should be looking at two more additions. Fashion Sakala has been heavily linked and would be a fantastic signing, especially on a free transfer but this leaves one more space.
I’d go for Lawrence Shankland. Previously when he was linked, I wasn’t sure that he had a good enough all round game to be a success for Rangers but, with almost a full season in the Premiership under his belt, he has done enough to suggest that he could contribute as part of an attacking unit – there is a big difference between this and asking him to replace Morelos on his own.
Would Shankland be a good addition?
His goals record might not be great since being promoted with Dundee United but a lot of their issues came from the number of chances they were creating, not Shankland missing them, he would add to the number of home grown players we have for continental football and, with just a year left on his current contract, would give Ross Wilson something to work with at the negotiating table.
We’ve been linked with him a few times before and now that he has shown he can make the step up, the time is right to replace one outgoing blue nose – Greg Stewart – with another.