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Rangers: Noel Whelan floats possibility of defender loan

Rangers: Noel Whelan floats possibility of defender loan -Rangers News

Noel Whelan can see Rangers signing a Premier League defender on loan in January to preserve their squad depth. 

The former Leeds United, Coventry City and Middlesbrough forward was speaking to Football Insider.

The lowdown

The Gers will be without Filip Helander until at least December after he was stretchered off in the recent win over St Johnstone.

That leaves Steven Gerrard with only three senior options at centre-half: Connor Goldson, Jack Simpson and Leon Balogun.

Rangers’ participation in the Europa League makes for a demanding schedule until Christmas.

And Balogun’s injury history in particular will be cause for concern. The Nigerian was sidelined with four separate issues last season, missing a total of 13 matches (via Transfermarkt).

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The latest

Even though Helander should be back before the transfer window, Whelan warned that further injuries might be on the horizon, stretching Rangers’ squad.

He says the Glasgow outfit would have to ‘pay over the odds’ to sign anyone permanently at the mid-point of the season, and so he thinks a loan move for a English Premier League player who’s in need of minutes may be more sensible.

“It depends on if and when he comes back,” he said. “If he comes back fine by January then there is a case to say you don’t need anyone else.

“But what if someone else gets injured? Then you are right back in the same position.

“You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. We know what the window is like in January, you pay over the odds and don’t sign players you actually want.

“If they do anything it will be a loan deal for a Premier League player, I would imagine.

“Someone who needs game time. They might just need that cover and backup.”

The verdict

If Helander is back fit and firing before the turn of the year and Balogun and co. avoid any significant issues, then Rangers may decide to simply stick with what they’ve got. Four centre-halves should, realistically, be enough.

But if they do want that extra insurance option, who could they turn to? Perhaps Steven Gerrard could look to former club Liverpool and their Under-23 centre-back Billy Koumetio. The Reds would probably be happy for him to get some experience of the men’s game, whether it be in the cup or against lesser league opponents, and their capture of Ibrahima Konate has pushed the teenager way down the pecking order.

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Article title: Rangers: Noel Whelan floats possibility of defender loan

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