Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker has expressed his surprise at Rangers not making any additions to their squad this month as the end of the January transfer window draws near.
Although Steven Gerrard had indicated that the club would be focused more on trimming their squad rather than adding to it in the transfer window (as per BBC), Walker has nonetheless been taken aback by the lack of new arrivals at Ibrox this month.
Speaking on Sky Sports [via The Scottish Sun], he said: “Rangers to me look as though they need some new additions. I am surprised that they are not talking about adding to the squad in January. They are either unwilling or unable to do business. Normally in a transfer window, especially after Rangers won so well at Celtic Park just before the New Year, normally you’d expect them to kick on. Normally you kick on with a couple of new additions to the squad.”
Walker’s surprise at Gerrard playing down the probability of Rangers making new signings before Friday’s transfer deadline is understandable given the strong position in which they find themselves in multiple competitions and the volume of matches still to play. The ‘Gers are within five points of Premiership leaders Celtic and qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League, in which they will face Portuguese side Braga.
Rangers have already played 40 matches in all competitions this season and will have at least another nine before the end of February. As things currently stand, they will play at least two games a week until the second week of March and their schedule would get even busier if they continue to progress in the Scottish Cup and Europa League.
Gerrard’s squad still seems light in some areas – while strikers Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe have scored 44 goals between them this term, Greg Stewart is their only other centre-forward option after Eduardo Herrera’s move to Puebla was confirmed by the Mexican club on Twitter. At least the ‘Gers secured the permanent signing of Defoe on a pre-contract last weekend, with the 37-year-old showing the potential benefits of doing deals in January – after he joined on loan from Bournemouth 12 months ago, he scored eight goals in 17 league games last term and has hit 24 goals in 49 matches so far for the club.
Also, Borna Barisic is the only natural left-back in the first team squad at Ibrox, although Gerrard has said that the Croatian is close to agreeing a new deal (as per Daily Record) following reports of interest from Roma (as per Sunday Post). James Tavernier, Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday could deputise at left-back if Barisic was unavailable but the lack of a natural alternative is not an ideal scenario.
Walker referenced the win at Celtic last month and his recommendation to “kick on” by adding to the squad. That is something Rangers’ crosstown rivals have done by making two new signings in January in Patryk Klimala and Ismaila Soro, with Neil Lennon feeling the need to add to a squad that has won the last eight Premiership titles.
History will judge whether Gerrard’s reluctance to sign players this month will be justified or prove costly, although Walker’s surprise at the lack of new arrivals at Ibrox so far in January isn’t hard to understand.
Rangers fans, do you agree with Walker’s verdict on the club’s lack of January transfer activity? Have your say by commenting below!
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