Glasgow Rangers have been strongly linked with a move for Fashion Sakala in recent months, and a report from The Daily Record claimed that a move to Ibrox could be on the cards. However, it now appears he is close to signing a new contract with his current club KV Oostende, according to reports.
Sakala, who has been a part of Oostende’s first team since 2018, has risen to prominence over the past year alone, having made 23 Jupiler Pro League appearances with 13 goals and 2 assists to show for his 22 starts.
Oostende sporting director Gauthier Ganaye recently admitted that he is resigned to losing the 23-year-old in the summer, but it seems he has performed an abrupt U-turn in a dramatic twist, with Sakala himself all but confirming he will be extending his contract and staying at the Diaz Arena, which will be a mammoth blow for Steven Gerrard.
The Rangers manager’s desire to sign the 5-cap Zambia international was one of the worst-kept secrets in Scottish football back in January, with Gerrard said to be keen on securing a pre-contract move for the striker, but it’s now likely he will be forced to rethink his transfer plans for the future.
However, if we’re being honest, the attack is one area of the field that Rangers are not in dire need of strengthening, with Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Kemar Roofe among the options currently available to Gerrard.
Just like Sakala, Roofe’s versatility means he can be used at the top of the pitch or on either flank, with Kent a shoe-in on the left wing. In terms of statistics, however, Sakala trails the 24-year-old by quite some margin.
Kent is currently averaging two key passes per 90 in the Scottish Premiership this season and attempts more dribbles (2) than the Zambian, which suggests that he poses a greater counter-attacking threat.
Upon reflection, it’s unlikely the Ibrox boss will lose much sleep over Sakala penning a new contract if they end up stopping Celtic from winning an unprecedented ten in a row. If he intends to find a long-term replacement for Morelos, he will be forced to look elsewhere in all likelihood.
AND in other news, Steven Gerrard must unleash Rangers striker Cedric Itten on Kilmarnock…