Glasgow Rangers may have just received a huge transfer boost in their pursuit of Wigan Athletic striker Kyle Joseph if recent reports are to be believed.
According to Football Insider, Wigan have rejected a bid from Barnsley for the 19-year-old, who has caught the eye of Rangers, as Steven Gerrard seeks to bolster his firepower in front of goal.
Alfredo Morelos has been doing a decent job as Gerrard’s first choice but faces stiff competition from Jermain Defoe, Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe, and bringing in the youngster could push Greg Stewart out the Ibrox door.
With Joseph’s contract set to expire this summer, Rangers are hopeful they can take advantage of the situation by lining up a Bosman move for the Latics striker, who has been one of the few bright sparks in what has been a rather difficult campaign for the club.
The highly-rated teenager has made 14 appearances across all competitions this season and has five goals to show for his 11 starts, with the League One strugglers currently lying second from bottom of the table.
Joseph has become a regular starter in the EFL and it’s no surprise his form has caught the attention of a number of clubs. The Mirror revealed Rangers face a fierce battle to sign the Wigan teenage starlet amid interest from Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and Old Firm rivals Celtic.
Morelos’ importance to Gerrard’s side is unquestionable, but Stewart has served his purpose, and Ross Wilson needs to find a talented young and hungry player to help to rejuvenate an ageing squad. It’s worth pointing out Rangers have one of the oldest squads in the Scottish Premiership. And Joseph is exactly that.
After it was revealed that Wigan’s financial struggles could see him leave on the cheap, Joseph – who has been heavily linked to north London – could be the man to complete a dream attack for Gerrard with an eye on the future.
Whilst Ianis Hagi is similarly right-footed and plays on the wings, the Scotland U19 front man is far more of a potent threat in front of goal. Per WhoScored, the Wigan forward currently averages 2.2 shots per match which is more than Hagi himself (1.7), and he also boasts an impressive 1.3 successful dribbles per game as well.
Wigan manager Leam Richardson heaped praise on his young charge, insisting: “Kyle is on top of the world at the moment. The only disappointment for him and for us is that it wasn’t in front of 30,000 people here.
“He’ll remember that moment for the rest of his life. He’s been getting plaudits for a while now and as long as he keeps grounded and keeps working hard through the week like he does, he’ll have a very good career.”
Hagi on the other hand has managed 1.7 key passes per game, picking up more assists than Joseph (10). Having them both in the same side and playing off Ryan Kent on the left-hand side of the pitch could give Gerrard even more firepower to feed off, and add to their excellent goal record in the future.