Not that they’d like to admit it, but if Glasgow Rangers do intend to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window, then Steven Gerrard simply must prioritise his options out wide.
Ianis Hagi has established himself as a regular starter in the Scottish Premiership but both Brandon Barker and Jordan Jones have seemingly been deemed surplus to requirements. Gerrard should count his blessings that the transfer market is still open, for the time being at least.
Reports have emerged over the past week that Rangers are reportedly eyeing up a move for Sheffield Wednesday winger Adam Reach, whose contract will run out in the summer.
The Lancashire Telegraph recently revealed that Reach is free to talk to foreign clubs and thus, Rangers and their Old Firm rivals Celtic are closely monitoring his situation.
It’s been claimed Steven Gerrard’s side ‘may make a move for the 27-year-old who was bought for £5milllion from Middlesbrough in 2016.’
As per the Bosman ruling, he could move to a new club without costing a penny if he agrees a pre-contract deal with either club north of the border.
With Reach nearing the end of his contract, it goes without saying that this could be yet another fine example of a masterclass from Ross Wilson – who played a central role in Southampton’s player trading – if he can snap up the 27-year-old.
There’s no doubt he’d take to Scottish football like a duck to water as he’s arguably one of the most versatile players in the English Championship.
Capable of playing out wide, upfront, in the midfield or even at left-back, his versatility not only means that he is a manager’s dream as he can play in a number of positions at short notice, but he’d also be a significant upgrade on the likes of Barker and Jones in the final third.
Previously described as “fantastic” by former Owls manager Jos Luhukay, he has a host of different qualities that could be game-changing for the Gers.
Perhaps most importantly, he’s better in almost every area than the hapless Rangers duo.
Reach has made 22 Championship appearances so far this season and has two goals and two assists to show for his 18 starts, despite playing in virtually every position besides centre-back, right-back and between the sticks. That’s one more goal contribution than Barker and Jones have managed between them, let alone by themselves, via Transfermarkt.
On top of this, the former Middlesbrough man makes just shy of one tackle and one interception per game, which shows that he isn’t afraid to get stuck in and contribute defensively as well. The same can’t be said for Barker and Jones, who have barely averaged one tackle between them this season, via WhoScored, and typically shy away from tracking back and breaking up attacks.
It’s clear that Reach would be an upgrade on the two Rangers outcasts, who are still yet to feature for the first-team this year.
With Rangers lacking genuine cover on the wings and Gerrard’s playing style revolving around the width on the outside channels, it’s fair to say that signing the experienced Reach could prove to be invaluable as they bid to stop Celtic from winning ten in a row.
The chastening 3-2 defeat to St. Mirren shows Rangers can’t afford to rest on their laurels in the transfer market. Therefore, snapping up Reach for a cut-price deal should be at the top of the list of Wilson’s priorities. He’s already proven he’s one of the best in the English second division and should settle into life in the Scottish Premiership.
Should they stall too long, there’s no doubt there’ll be other clubs waiting in the wings.