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Rangers: Nicolas Raskin could be Michael Beale’s next Declan Rice

The January transfer window is almost open for business and next month will be Glasgow Rangers boss Michael Beale’s first chance to bring his own players to Ibrox.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was given two windows to shape his squad and the English coach, who replaced the Dutchman at the helm last month, will now have his first.

The former assistant to Steven Gerrard in Glasgow may want to improve his team in order to bolster their chances of catching up with their rivals at the top of the Premiership table.

Celtic are currently nine points clear of the Light Blues in the Scottish top-flight and improving the quality of the starting XI in January could help them to close the gap in the second half of the campaign.

Rangers are one of the clubs reportedly interested in signing Standard Liege’s Nicolas Raskin, following on from their pursuit of his services in the summer transfer window.

Should Rangers sign Nicolas Raskin?

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Yes

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He could end up being Beale’s first signing if Ross Wilson is able to win the race for the 21-year-old’s signature and he would arrive to, potentially, improve the coach’s options in the middle of the park.

Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that the midfielder has been sent to Liege’s second squad after failing to agree a fresh contract with the Belgian side, with a number of sides across Europe tracking him, and this indicates that the door could be open for the Gers to swoop for him next month.

The 21-year-old is a talented young gem and the Light Blues manager could attempt to work his coaching magic with the Belgian if Rangers are able to bring him to Ibrox.

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Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst reacts

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Beale has a track record of helping prospects to take the next step in their career. He has been credited with playing a huge role in the development of the likes of Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Reece James, among others.

Mount and Rice reportedly come to him for advice regularly, after working with him at Chelsea at youth level, and Raskin could be the head coach’s next version of the latter.

The West Ham defensive midfielder has established himself as an England regular and has been catching the eye in the Premier League. He has completed 90% of his passes and made 2.4 tackles per game in the English top-flight this term, whilst also assisting two goals and making 1.3 key passes per match across 15 outings.

Raskin, meanwhile, has completed 84% of his passes and made 3.3 tackles per game across 16 appearances for Liege in the Pro League this season.

The gem, who Belgian journalist Bob Faesen once described as “powerful” and a “pitbull“, has also registered four assists for his teammates and made 1.1 key passes per game.

These statistics suggest that they are similar players in style as they are both ball-winning midfielders who are capable of retaining possession and creating opportunities for others on a regular basis, whilst neither of them are particularly prolific in terms of scoring goals.

If Rangers sign Raskin, Beale could work with the Belgian talent to help him fulfil his potential in the coming years, making him his next Declan Rice after he played a role in the Englishman’s rise to the top.