New Glasgow Rangers boss Michael Beale will seemingly be eyeing potential new recruits as the January window approaches, with the 42-year-old no doubt keen to put his stamp on the current Ibrox squad heading into the second half of the campaign.
With speculation still rife regarding the future of polarising forward Alfredo Morelos – with the Colombian having just a matter of months left on his existing deal – one area that may well need to be addressed is the Old Firm outfit’s centre-forward options.
Recent reports have claimed that one potential target for the Glasgow side could well be that of Ross Stewart, with the Gers able to exploit the uncertainty surrounding the Scotland international’s contract situation at current club, Sunderland.
The suggestion is that the Scottish giants are ‘waiting in the wings‘ as talks over a new deal at the Stadium of Light hit an impasse, with the Black Cats now said to be considering a sale in the winter window with the striker’s existing deal nearing its expiry.
The former Ross County man – who made the move south of the border back in January 2021 – has been something of a “revelation” during his time at the club thus far, according to teammate Alex Pritchard, scoring 34 goals and recording eight assists in just 72 games across all fronts.
That includes a haul of 26 goals last term as the 6 foot 2 powerhouse helped to drag his side out of League One, while the two-cap gem has since started the new season in fine fashion, despite a spell out with injury, with five goals and three assists in just seven Championship outings.
Not just a mere goalscorer, the Irvine-born ace also offers the all-round package when leading the line, with the aforementioned Pritchard previously saying of his talents:
“[Stewart] is unbelievable. The size of him, on the ball, he can run, he can hold the ball up, he’s good with his feet. He’s got everything. He’s great in the air. Holds the ball up and he gets in behind”.
Having previously been a target for those at Ibrox over the summer during Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s stint at the helm, it may well make sense for Beale to revive that interest in the New Year, particularly with the aforementioned Morelos having scored just three times this season.
The addition of Stewart could well see the Light Blues snap up their answer to Fulham goal machine, Aleksandar Mitrovic, with the pair said to share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities, as per FBref.
Like the Scotsman, Mitrovic – who is also 6 foot 2 – offers a real physical presence in attack as he averages 5.49 aerial duels won per game, while the Sunderland man is not far behind as he averages 4.14 for the same metric.
Much like Pritchard’s assessment of his club colleague, Mitrovic has also been praised by Everton boss Frank Lampard for his quality outside of simply putting the ball in the back of the net, with the former England international stating:
“As an all-round striker he’s really strong but crosses are a big threat and it’s two-fold: stopping crosses and dealing with balls in the box in dangerous goalscoring areas where he’s very difficult to mark if he can get a run on you.”
The Serbian international is an eye-catching figure to be compared to such have been his goalscoring heroics of late, the 28-year-old having notably lashed in a record-breaking tally of 43 goals in England’s second tier last season.
That ruthless hot streak has continued this season despite the step up to the Premier League, with the former Newcastle United man having scored nine goals in just 12 league outings – the joint-fourth-best record in the division.
Were Rangers to snap up their own version of the one-time Anderlecht brute in the form of Stewart it would certainly be a major coup, with such an addition likely to aid Beale in his quest to revive the club’s fortunes.