Glasgow Rangers enjoyed a hugely-successful summer transfer window, signing no fewer than seven first-team players, but are they finished just yet?
According to The Times in August, the 54-time Scottish champions had been one of several clubs chasing ex-England international Daniel Sturridge in the summer, although a move never materialised. However, the former Chelsea and Liverpool forward finds himself still searching for a new home, having been released by Trabzonspor in March.
Now that the transfer market has closed, many British clubs will be taking a look at the lower leagues, with a domestic-only window open until October 16th. But the Gers should also explore free agency to hunt for bargains with several high-profile names like Sturridge still without a club.
Over the course of his managerial career so far, albeit short but sweet, Steven Gerrard has favoured a 4-3-3 formation, with a very direct style of play. The centre-forward role is currently perfectly filled by the in-form Alfredo Morelos, who has already scored three goals in eight appearances in the Scottish Premiership so far.
Granted, Gerrard isn’t exactly short of options if he suffers an injury, as he can also call upon the services of Cedric Itten and Jermain Defoe, if required. However, the injury-prone Itten is working his way back from fitness, whilst it can be argued that Defoe is entering the twilight of his career. And neither of these are arguably more suited to the role than Sturridge, who is keeping fit ahead of his next career move after being banned from football for four months over a betting breach.
At 38 years of age, it’s fair to say Defoe isn’t getting much younger, and he has been left out of the squad for the Europa League group stages, which might be a sign of things to come. For whatever reason, Gerrard likes to have a seasoned veteran striker in the squad, and his old Merseyside teammate may be the perfect replacement.
Sturridge has scored four goals or more in the past two seasons, playing mainly as a second-striker or on the right flank, which means he could also provide cover for Ianis Hagi. He arguably enjoyed his best season in the 2013/14 campaign, where he scored 21 goals and supplied 7 assists, whilst he averaged 3.4 shots, 1 key pass and 1.3 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
While there is almost no way of finding out his fitness levels until he carries out a medical, the fact that the £7.2m-rated ace is available for free is surely worth the risk. He just has to be playing football now, no doubt about it, if he is to stand any chance of salvaging his career. If Sturridge can stay fit for an entire season, he certainly has the ability to cause defences all sorts of problems. Staying fit during the close season is a good start in any case.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers must give Alfredo Morelos a new deal…