It’s not long until the end of the summer transfer window, so you would’ve thought the Rangers completed most of their work after eight summer signings. However, after five tricky, competitive matches, it seems some old issues are resurfacing.
Most of last season saw Rangers struggle against the low-block whenever it was deployed to good effect. So, it still appears there is work to do for Rangers to become the Championship winning team their manager aspires to lead.
It seems the Gers manager, Steven Gerrard has to make a few complicated decisions, for example the one regarding Borna Barisic. He is talented, of that there is no doubt but it’s becoming a cliché to point to his status as Croatia’s starting left-back. Now, we are talking about a side of real quality, recent World Cup finalists.
His season was interrupted by unfortunate injury and started late last term, without the crucial bonding and gelling undertaken in a pre-season. Gerrard has to make a tough decision here: he can either put his trust in Barisic’s talent and ability or he can decide that the player has not adapted to the style in which the Premiership is played.
Ryan Kent is also turning into a significant point of discussion lately. The Liverpool starlet was magnificent during his loan spell at Rangers last season, earning the plaudits of boss, and former Red, Steven Gerrard in the process.
The Anfield legend is extremely interested in securing Kent’s services for another campaign, but with Jurgen Klopp also a big fan of the 22-year-old, it is still not clear which side of the Anglo-Scottish border the winger will be playing his football on during the 2019/2020 season.
However, certain speculation mentions how Klopp has made it clear that the winger will only head out on a permanent move. This could be unfortunate news for the Gers as they were particularly confident about Kent and another loan spell.
The German boss mentions: “It (the loan spell) helped a lot. He came back a completely a different player…It was a very important year. It helped, good club, good manager and means good competition. Exactly the right thing for him at the right moment. But going back? (Only) If Rangers can buy him. The time is over giving him on loan.”
Liverpool enjoyed a fantastic season in 18/19, taking the title fight to the final game of the season in what proved a thrilling climax. The Reds would rather sell Kent than loan him out again but know they are in a race against time to do so. If the English transfer window closes with Kent still at Liverpool on Thursday at 5pm, they may change their tune and be open to loaning Kent out again.
Gerrard knows Kent is a player who can turn the tables in Scotland and, after watching Celtic make a statement on the opening day of the season, needs to make one of his own. Rangers are able to sign players until September 2 but can’t afford Kent on a permanent deal unless Alfredo Morelos is sold, which brings us to the topic of the forward.
A more focused Morelos, aware now that his outbursts have a direct correlation on his ability to earn, could top 40 goals this season. And that’s the rub, Morelos is a known quantity. Any replacement, were he to depart, would have to be bedded into the system before adapting to the Scottish game.