Rangers: Christopher Jack would be ‘surprised’ if Sands stayed
Journalist Christopher Jack has said that he would be ‘surprised’ if James Sands stayed with Rangers next season.
The Lowdown: Loan set to conclude
Sands joined the Scottish Premiership side in January of last year from New York City FC on an 18-month loan, and the club have the option to buy should Michael Beale want to keep him at Ibrox.
The American was an unused substitute in their 2-1 victory against Ross County this weekend, which made it three straight Scottish Premiership matches where the defender hasn’t featured for the Gers.
At the end of the season, the 22-year-old’s loan with Beale’s side will end, so it would seem the manager has made his mind up on the defender.
The Latest: Not good enough
Speaking on The Rangers Review, Jack claimed that Sands isn’t at the level required to join Rangers on a permanent basis.
He stated: “I would be surprised if James Sands is a Rangers player come next season.
“He’s been shunted from midfield to centre-half, he’s never really been able to settle into a role in the team. He’s done a job when asked, been quite selfless in that regard.
“Ultimately, I just don’t think he’s good enough. I think Rangers in that position are looking for a bit more. The fact that the manager has also gone out and signed Raskin to play in that deeper midfield role, still got Kamara as well, still got Lundstram, really rates Ryan Jack… I just don’t see where James Sands fits into the plans.
“If you’re looking at it, you need two players for every possession – James Sands isn’t even third-choice in that position now.
“I think they will keep him until the end of the season. After that, his loan deal obviously comes to an end and I think that will be the end of his Rangers career.”
The Verdict: Not in Beale’s plans
We believe that Sands is not in the future plans of Beale’s Rangers side, so why would you play someone when you have no intention of keeping them next season?
The Gers boss was assistant manager of Aston Villa when Sands arrived, so he’s likely one of the players he wasn’t familiar with when he returned to the club.
As Beale’s stint has gone on, we’ve seen less and less of the 22-year-old, and in our view, it suggests he’s not been impressed by what he’s seen from the player.
Beale deserves to be trusted on his decision-making and given his start to life in the top job at Ibrox, you’d imagine he would have the backing of the powers that be and will remain an influential figure at the club for the time being.
January signing Nicolas Raskin revealed after his arrival that he ‘wanted to come’ to Rangers after speaking to Beale (via The Glasgow Times), and in our view, Beale is someone whose judgement cannot be questioned at this point as he continues to succeed in the Gers hotseat.