Glasgow Rangers have been dealt a huge transfer blow after Barry Fry dismissed claims about Siriki Dembele’s future at Peterborough United.
Fry had previously claimed towards the end of last month: “Rangers have watched Siriki twice as have the Scottish national side.
“Newcastle manager Steve Bruce watched him at Crewe when he didn’t play well.
“There will always be interest in players like Siriki, but we don’t have to sell him. We have him for another 18 months and we’d rather he stayed until the summer when we can reassess his situation.”
However, he has now strongly denied reports linking Dembele with a move away from the Weston Homes Stadium, via The Grimsby Telegraph.
Rangers have been heavily linked with Dembele in recent months, with The Sun even going so far as to claim he has recently submitted a transfer request in an attempt to push for a move in the January transfer window, whilst Peterborough Today added Celtic, Fulham, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City have also been interested in acquiring his services.
But the Posh director of football has since rebuffed those reports in what will certainly be considered a blow by Steven Gerrard, especially when you consider the fact that versatile forward Kemar Roofe suffered an injury nearly halfway through the crunch Old Firm clash with Celtic, which has left the Ibrox boss short of back-up options out wide.
As per Transfermarkt, his market value is currently unknown, but it’s likely Ross Wilson may have to bring out the cheque book to prise him away from the Posh, and that may not actually be a bad idea if you take a closer look at the numbers.
Dembele may not be the first name on everybody’s lips but you may have heard of his younger brother Karamoko Dembele who is currently plying his trade at Parkhead. Before you turn your noses away in disgust, need we remind you of the McAdam brothers? The two brothers bridged the gap between both sides of Glasgow and went onto become Scottish football icons.
Whilst it’d be a bit of a stretch to suggest that the 24-year-old will go on to hit the same heights as the aforementioned duo, there’s no doubting that he is still an impressive talent.
Recently described as “the best player in League One” by Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony, WhoScored lists his key passing and strong dribbling as some of his key strengths, and statistically at least, he is a better option than current back-up Jordan Jones.
When you compare his numbers to Jones, there’s almost no comparison, as Dembele is better than the 25-year-old in almost every area. The Northern Irishman only averages one shot per game, whilst averaging just 0.3 key passes per game, so he takes fewer shots and creates fewer chances than Dembele, and fails to really offer anything of note in the final third with just one goal in four appearances in Scottish football this season.
Similarly, Dembele would also be an upgrade on Barker, as he has shown that he isn’t afraid to do the dirty work as well. That’s because he makes 1.5 tackles per game, which is more than Barker himself has managed this season. In terms of statistics, he’d rank joint-fifth highest out of Gerrard’s men in terms of his WhoScored score, should you compare this to the rest of the Rangers squad.
It’s fair to say that Rangers have been crying out for some real depth on the wings to cover for the likes of Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent. In Dembele, they could find themselves a player who can do precisely just that.
Whilst Fry has insisted he is not for sale, Wilson should splash the cash as it might prove to be too tempting for him to ignore a substantial offer during such a time of economic uncertainty.
AND in other news, Rangers could propose swap deal involving Scott Wright and Greg Stewart…