Steven Gerrard made no attempt to disguise his desire to bolster his firepower as Glasgow Rangers embarked on a spending spree in the summer, with Ross Wilson securing the services of Ianis Hagi on a permanent deal from KRC Genk after a short loan spell.
The Ibrox boss brought in two backup strikers in Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe on four-year deals for undisclosed fees, whilst Rangers signed Bongani Zungu on an initial loan deal from French Ligue 2 side Amiens on transfer deadline day.
Red hot Roofe appears to be in such fine form, with seven goals in 12 games, but Itten has struggled to find his feet so far this season, managing to score just twice in 14 appearances in all competitions, a fact which won’t go unnoticed by Gerrard, who has a wealth of options to choose from at the top of the pitch.
Not that he’d like to admit it, but there will come a point where Rangers will have to rejuvenate their aging squad, which is one of the oldest in the division, as it’s fair to say that Jermain Defoe and Greg Stewart are nearing the end of their time at the Govan stadium.
With Lille retaining a long-term interest in Alfredo Morelos, the manager may have to start thinking about dipping into the academy ranks, and it appears he may be more inclined to do so after Chris McKee signed a new contract at the club until 2022.
The Rangers prospect has impressed backroom staff after breaking into the B-team this season, having been called up to Northern Ireland’s U21 squad last month.
Former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan was full of praise for McKee’s progression, as he told Football Insider: “It is very exciting because strikers come with a commodity.
“Sometimes you have to go out and buy them, a bit like Joe Gelhardt at Leeds, but if you already have them in your ranks fantastic.
“Rangers have barely paid anything for McKenna. He is a young player who knows where the back of the net is so he is worth his weight in gold, he really is.”
The 18-year-old has already scored eight goals for the development squad so far this season, which is more than Itten has managed for the first team, but he insists he won’t get distracted by the new deal.
“I am buzzing to sign the new deal. We had been talking about it for a wee while but it’s always good to get it done,” McKee told Belfast Live.
“Now it is out of the way I just want to kick on now and keep improving.”
This kind of attitude is exactly what Gerrard will have wanted to hear, as the Rangers manager has previously warned academy players in the past that they won’t get a chance to impress in the first team unless they leave their ego at the door.
Whilst only time will tell if McKee will be able to hit the same heights as his older teammate, the signs are starting to show that the Gers may have a top talent on their hands, whilst he won’t cost Wilson a penny.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers must get rid of Jordan Jones, he earns more than Joe Aribo…