Rangers supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side fail to usurp Aberdeen in the race for second place in the Scottish Premiership,
The Light Blues went into their final clash of the campaign at Hibernian on Sunday needing to better the Dons’ result, but were ultimately unable to do anything given Derek McInnes’ men won 1-0 at champions Celtic. As it were, only a defeat for the Reds would have been enough for the Gers as they could only muster a 5-5 draw with Hibs last weekend, thus seeing them finish third in the division and three points behind Aberdeen after 38 matches.
As such, there have been many disappointed Rangers supporters in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are already turning their attentions towards the summer and thus what business their team may seek to conduct.
And with James Tavernier having been linked with a move away this summer, the Gers may well be on the lookout for a new right back, and as such should look no further than £4.5 million-rated out-of-contract star Joel Ward (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, the 28-year-old has endured a testing campaign at Selhurst Park with injury decimating a huge chunk of the season, thus restricting the defender to just 19 Premier League appearances for Roy Hodgson’s men.
Arguably, those injury troubles have planted the seed of doubt into the Eagles hierarchy over whether to offer him a new deal, and given their reported interest in Rangers’ Tavernier, it would suggest that an extension to his current contract is not forthcoming.
And Rangers must seek to take advantage by luring him north of the border.
Yes, this term has been a tricky one for Ward, but one mustn’t forget his consistently high-level efforts for Palace in the preceding few seasons – after all, he failed to miss a single Premier League game last term to further underline his dependable efforts at right back.
In fact, there were even calls a while back for the 28-year-old to earn an England cap such were his performances for the London-based outfit, and while recent injuries may well have set him back, there’s little doubting that he remains an adept right back at top-flight level.
And that would make him a particularly effective one in the Scottish Premiership as well.
Yes, he is unlikely to offer the same numbers of goals and assists as Tavernier does, but defensively Ward is very solid, while he would also bring a vast amount of experience to the Gers backline having played 163 times at Premier League level during his career.
And if the Light Blues are serious about closing the gap on champions Celtic, solid, experienced, and dependable signings should be targeted by new boss Steven Gerrard this summer – Ward ticks all those boxes.
And with the 28-year-old out of contract this summer, and Palace reportedly eyeing Gers right back Tavernier as a possible replacement, the Scottish giants should seek to lure Ward north of the border during the close season.
Rangers fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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