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Rangers: Pete O’Rourke drops Dion Sanderson claim

Glasgow Rangers target Dion Sanderson would be a “really smart signing” at Ibrox by Ross Willson.

What’s been said?

Transfer Focus

That’s according to Pete O’Rourke, who stated his belief in an interview with Football FanCast that, following a number of reports linking Gers with a £3m move for the Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-back in the January transfer window, the 23-year-old would indeed be an impressive signing for the Light Blues to get over the line this winter.

Regarding Rangers’ interest in the defender, O’Rourke said: “He’s a top young defender, Dion Sanderson, he’s obviously not had many opportunities at Wolves.

“He’s been out on loan over the last couple of seasons and really impressed at Sunderland and also now at Birmingham City this season as well. So I think he’d be a really smart signing from Rangers if they could land him.”

“Rolls-Royce”

As O’Rourke states, considering just how impressive Sanderson has been for both Sunderland and Birmingham in recent seasons, the argument that the centre-back would make a fantastic addition to Micheal Beale’s current options in the heart of his defence is an extremely easy one to make.

Indeed, over his 26 League One appearances for the Black Cats back in 2020/21, the £2.7m-rated talent highly impressed at the back, helping his side keep eight clean sheets, as well as making an average of one tackle, 0.9 interceptions, 2.7 clearances and winning 4.3 duels – at a success rate of 61% – per game.

The 23-year-old also chipped in for the Mackems in an attacking capacity, scoring one goal and creating one big chance, in addition to playing an average of 3.3 long balls, 1.5 chipped passes and completing 32.8 total passes – at a success rate of 82% – per match.

These returns saw the player who Lee Johnson dubbed a “Rolls-Royce” average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.92, ranking him as Sunderland’s 13th-best performer in the third tier of English football that season.

It has been a similar story over the centre-back’s 24 Championship fixtures for Birmingham in the current campaign, with the £4k-per-week gem helping the Blues keep seven clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.7 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 2.5 clearances and winning 4.4 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.

The Wolves academy graduate has once again proven a threat going forwards at St. Andrew’s, having scored one goal, registered one assist and created two big chances for his teammates, in addition to playing an average of 3.3 long balls and 1.7 chipped passes per match.

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These metrics have seen the youngster who John Eustace labelled “magnificent” and a “Premier League centre-half” average an eye-catching Sofascore match rating of 6.92, currently ranking him as Birmingham’s sixth-best performer in the second tier.

As such, considering the undoubted ability that Sanderson possesses, in addition to his potential for future growth, it would indeed appear as if the centre-back’s signing would be an extremely smart one for Wilson to get over the line this winter – especially for a reported fee of just £3m.