Rangers goalkeeper Jak Alnwick could be on the verge of leaving the club permanently, having already been dispatched on loan this season.
Football Insider reported that the 26-year-old, who is on loan at Blackpool for the 2019/20 season, is close to agreeing a pre-contract with the English League One club that would see his switch to Bloomfield Road made permanent next summer.
According to Football Insider, he was hopeful of joining the Seasiders full-time this month, only for a broken arm in December to extinguish that possibility, although Blackpool are still keen to sign him on a permanent basis.
Alnwick has made just 11 first team appearances at Rangers since joining the Ibrox club three years ago and hasn’t featured at all under Steven Gerrard. Having been loaned out to Scunthorpe last season, he has spent the current campaign at Blackpool, where he had been performing solidly and getting regular game-time.
The 26-year-old played in each of the Seasiders’ first 22 league games this term and made 23 appearances in all competitions, conceding a respectable tally of 25 goals (1.09 per game) and keeping seven clean sheets (30.4% of games). Simon Grayson, his manager at Bloomfield Road, said that he had been performing “fantastically well” before breaking his arm last month (as per Blackpool Gazette).
While Alnwick may have been performing well in England, his prospects at Rangers haven’t seemed too great given the competition for the goalkeeping berth. Allan McGregor has emphatically been Gerrard’s first choice this season, with more than 30 appearances already, and prior to Wednesday night’s clash with St Mirren he had shipped just 10 goals in 17 league games (0.59 per game) and kept nine clean sheets (52.9% of games).
Second choice Wes Foderingham has been beaten just once in five appearances this term (0.2 goals conceded per game), keeping four clean sheets (80% of games), while Rangers this week extended the contract of Andy Firth until 2021, with fellow ‘keeper Robby McCrorie joining Livingston on loan in order to play first team minutes.
Alnwick’s decent record for Blackpool this season suggests that he could have been a more than useful squad player at Rangers, but with McGregor firmly established as first choice and main backup Foderingham only getting five games this season, the 26-year-old would likely have been left kicking his heels in Glasgow.
Instead, he now looks set to link up permanently with a club where he is rated highly, as evidenced by Grayson’s comments and his regular game-time prior to getting injured, while the Light Blues’ decision to extend Firth’s contract means that they are well stocked for goalkeepers. Therefore, they can afford to let Alnwick leave and a full-time move to Blackpool is one that the player seems to want, so this is a deal which should suit all parties concerned.
Rangers fans, would you like to have seen Alnwick been given more of a chance at Ibrox or do you think the club would be right to let him join Blackpool permanently? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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