The 23 year-old was once a hot prospect at St. James’s but a string of brushes with the law – most notably several charges of common assault and criminal damage – Ranger’s career has plummeted in recent years. He also got his own name tattooed onto his forehead, but that’s more a fashion crime than an actual legal issue.
With currently no criminal charges lingering over him, Massimo Cellino is reportedly prepared to offer the forward a route back into football.
But Ranger is undoubtedly a loose cannon and the Whites would be wise to consider viable alternatives first. Thus, we at Football Fancast have come up with FIVE…
The former Watford youngster netted 15 times on loan to Southend in League Two in the 2012/13 campaign, and last term, following a club-record move to Peterborough, bagged 23 goals in 43 League One outings, also firing the Posh to Football League Trophy glory.
Here’s a short clip of the Zaire-born assassin in action:
As you can see, he offers power, pace and goal threat in abundance, and at just 21 years of age, the potential for further improvement is enormous.
But the Posh are well aware they’re sitting on hot transfer property following rumoured interest from the Premier League, and Director of Football Barry Fry claims the club wouldn’t even sell for £5million!
Barry Fry has told local paper £5M wouldn’t be enough to buy Assombalonga & only ‘ridiculous’ bid would persuade Peterborough to sell #nffc
— Sean Taylor (@seantaylorpress) May 20, 2014
Another lower-tiers striking option for the Whites to consider is Rotherham United’s Kieran Agard. The 24 year-old opened a move to Elland Road earlier this month by rejecting a long-term contract at the New York Stadium, with his current deal set to expire in a year’s time:
Forward Kieran Agard has invited Leeds United to bid for his signature by turning down the offer of a long-term… http://t.co/twkHOCr0F6
— Rob Atkinson (@RobofLeeds) July 10, 2014
The former Everton youngster destroyed League One last season, netting 26 times in all competitions as the Miners achieved promotion through the play-offs. Here’s a look at all his goals from the campaign:
Massimo Cellino allegedly scouted Agard in person last season, but the Whites could face competition from Bristol City for his signature:
Cotterill: Wait and see on Agard: Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill has not ruled out adding Rotherham striker… http://t.co/pgEpx5nyv2
— Bristol C News (@BristolCityNews) July 31, 2014
Opinions are fairly divided on Greek enigma Georgios Samaras, but a 6 foot 4 forward who sporadically produces moments of sublime individual quality, there’s no doubt he’d suit Championship football well.
You can’t question the 29 year-old’s ability to turn a match on its head either. The ex-Celtic winger-forward netted 74 times in 248 appearances during seven campaigns at Parkhead – his most important goals coming on European nights, including this historic header against Barcelona:
The former Manchester City man was in good form for Greece at the World Cup too, as viewable below:
His highlight being this converted penalty to see his country through to the round of 16:
Most appealingly, although wage demands could prove an issue, Samaras is currently without a club after leaving the Scottish champions last season.
A swift return to Parkhead has been mooted however:
— Celtic FC News (@celticfcnews) July 5, 2014
Entrenched hatreds aside, Manchester United’s Nick Powell would be a decent stop-gap solution to Leeds’ striking woes on a season-long loan.
The highly-rated Crewe product impressed in the Championship last year during a term-long stay with Wigan, as viewable below:
He also netted three times in six Europa League outings. Here’s a collection of the 20 year-old’s career highlights thus far:
Powell, who can operate as a striker, in attacking or central midfield, is tipped for a bright future at Old Trafford but will be expected to go out on loan again next season to gain experience after missing on a place in Louis van Gaal’s pre-season tour squad.
Elland Road would be an interesting destination that can offer him first team football. But Wigan are keen on his services permanently and Premier League side Leicester City have also been linked:
— RedCafe.net (@red_cafe) May 26, 2014
— FL72 Transfers (@FL72Transfers) July 28, 2014
The 30 year-old netted just once in 14 appearances last season after being sidelined for nine months with a serious knee injury.
But the campaign previous, the former Rochdale and Brighton front-man netted 31 times in the Championships to see the Eagles gain promotion through the play-offs.
Here’s all his goals from the 2012/13 season:
No doubt, Murray is a lethal finisher at Championship level, but with three years left on his contract and Tony Pulis in no great hurry to sell, it remains to be seen whether he’ll be allowed to leave Selhurst Park this summer.