Rangers are among several clubs showing an interest in highly-rated Gillingham defender Jack Tucker, according to a report in The Scottish Sun.
The 20-year-old centre-back has been watched on several occasions by the Ibrox club’s director of football Ross Wilson and the youngster is valued at £1.5m by the English League One outfit (as per The Scottish Sun).
According to The Scottish Sun, the Light Blues’ Glasgow rivals Celtic are also keen on the defender, along with West Ham and Aston Villa, while Brentford had a £1m bid for him turned down in January.
Tucker has established himself in Gillingham’s first team this season, with 31 appearances so far in the current campaign including 24 league starts, and he apparently piqued West Ham’s interest after an impressive display against them in the FA Cup last month, according to The Scottish Sun.
He has displayed an aptitude for snuffing out opposition attacks, with match averages of 1.5 successful tackles and 1.2 interceptions. On both counts, those figures are superior to Rangers centre-backs Connor Goldson (0.3 successful tackles and 0.4 interceptions per game) and Filip Helander (0.6 successful tackles and 0.8 interceptions), although Nikola Katic wins more tackles per game (two) than the Gillingham youngster (all figures from WhoScored).
However, Tucker falls down in terms of aerial duels and passing accuracy. He wins 2.7 headers per game, a lower average than Goldson, Katic (four each) and Helander (3.4). He also has a poor passing success rate of just 47%, compared to 66.7% for Katic, 80.9% for Goldson and 83.7% for Helander (as per WhoScored).
While the 20-year-old has rough edges to his game that need improving, the centre-back position has been a problematic one for Rangers of late. Steven Gerrard expressed his displeasure with the displays of Katic and Goldson after the draw at St Johnstone on Sunday, with Helander’s injury leaving George Edmundson as the only centre-back alternative. The ex-Oldham man has struggled to get into the team this season and his performance was criticised by some ‘Gers fans when he last featured against Hamilton earlier this month.
Tucker is far from the finish article but, with Gerrard not blessed with a plethora of centre-back options and those at his disposal either unavailable or failing to impress, the Gillingham youngster should be well worth pursuing.
Rangers fans, do you think Tucker could be an ideal addition to Gerrard’s centre-back options? Do you think he would be better than what is already in the squad? Have your say by commenting below!
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