The balance at centre back is now in question after the rumblings at the weekend in which we conceded a goal from a long throw in. The goal conceded was a silly one from a Rangers perspective and automatically asks question of who should be brought in to be a long term partner to established defender Connor Goldson.
Call me old fashioned but I would be looking for a more historic no-nonsense centre half to be partnering Goldson in the season ahead. Whilst I would be keen to see for a left footed centre back be brought in to help bring a balance, I’m also of the opinion that they also need to put the ball into Row Z when under pressure.
Having a defender that can just deal with any situation safely is going to be a big springboard for clean sheets in the league this season. I would like to see a degree of physicality to help prevent situations like Saturday tea time.
When we look at Lewis Mayo’s performance on Saturday, he was effective just by doing the basics of defending well. He tackled when prompted, stuck the ball into the crowd when he sensed danger and generally dealt well with our new striker Cyril Dessers.
We need our new left sided centre back to have an element of pace about him as well, with the weaknesses that Borna Barisic and Ridvan Yilmaz may be leaving at left back it poses a question as to how we are going to fill the void and stop the weakness.
Who could fill the void?
The Nottingham Forest centre back has been widely coveted by Rangers this summer as a potential replacement for the left side of defence. He made 31 appearances on loan at championship play-off finalists Coventry City, and although not predominantly a no-nonsense centre back, he can cover at full back and has the pace to cover the space the left back vacates.
The other Nottingham Forest centre back would tick the type of centre back I feel Rangers need. He can handle any physicality put up against him and knows the league we play in. He has been down at Forest for a few seasons now and would come back up to Scotland more of a finished article. He also ticks the box of a home-grown rule player.
Another option for Rangers who never hidden his passion for his boyhood club. Has a good reputation down south and moved to Leicester last season. I think this is one that could have legs later in his career due to him being a Rangers fan. Links for the Australian international came out last night from TalkSport after the Servette game, although these were denied by Beale.
The Leeds united captain is another who would tick the home-grown rule box, having captained Leeds in the Premier League for the past two seasons. I like how dynamic he is with the ball, and is a threat from a set piece as shown in the opening goal against Cardiff at the weekend when he scored a header for Leeds. The biggest negative of this option is his injury record and we already have Souttar who is partnering Connor Goldson at the minute.
We saw the 20 year old Englishman in preseason, but is now his time? For me, it is unlikely as he is still a bit to raw to be playing at first team level. I would definitely have him in around the squad and pitch him in cup games or when we are a few goals to the good at home. Match experience is vital to these young players and I am a big fan of providing them with first team opportunities when matches seem a bit safer.
I know these options may not bring the much-needed balance that we all seek but they are all quality players who could bring a physicality to the defence. They have all played at a high level and more importantly are all accomplished centre backs with big game experience which would add massive quality to the squad.