Alan Hutton has dropped a Glasgow Rangers claim after what he has heard involving Kemar Roofe ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final.
The Lowdown: Available?
As per The Scottish Sun, Roofe is winning his fitness battle to feature in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final against RB Leipzig at Ibrox, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst is optimistic that he will play a part.
However, in his pre-game press conference ahead of the match, the Dutch manager admitted that he ‘can’t say‘ for sure that the striker will make the squad, casting doubt on the validity of reports suggesting he’ll return.
The Latest: Hutton reacts
Speaking to Football Insider after hearing those updates, former Teddy Bears right-back now Rangers TV pundit Hutton has claimed that his old team should play Roofe if he is ready, as it is simply a ‘huge’ game for them: “It’s a difficult one, isn’t it?
“On one side, I’m saying yes, take the gamble. If he’s training and he says he’s ready to go then you play him.
“You have to play them because this is huge. We do say it week after week but this is the next game and it is the biggest game.
“Obviously you’ve got a cup final coming up but I don’t think you can rest somebody just for that. If he’s fit and available, I think you play him.”
Should Rangers start Roofe?
The Verdict: Worth the risk
Of course, Roofe may not be fully fit, and may suffer from a lack of match sharpness, but adding him to the squad is surely worth the risk given what is at stake.
The Light Blues trail 1-0 from the first leg, and Roofe is their second-top scorer behind Alfredo Morelos this season, with 16 goals in total over all competitions so far.
Nonetheless, van Bronckhorst would surely want to play with an out-and-out number nine in order to not complicate his tactics or system, and if Roofe is ready, he should be unleashed upon the Leipzig defence.
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