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Rangers: Barry Ferguson drops Lawrence Shankland claim

Glasgow Rangers will be keeping tabs on Lawrence Shankland in the January transfer window with a view to bringing him to Ibrox.

What’s been said?

Transfer Focus

That’s according to Barry Ferguson, with the former Rangers midfielder stating his belief on the Go Radio Football Show (via the Daily Record) that Micheal Beale will be keeping an eye on the Heart of Midlothian centre-forward this month.

Regarding the 27-year-old, Ferguson said: “I think he’s been a brilliant signing for Hearts. He’s one that I’m sure Rangers will be keeping an eye on because goalscorers are hard to find. If [Alfredo] Morelos does go, you’ve got [Antonio] Colak and [Kemar] Roofe. Roofe for me is a really good player but there are injury concerns, so you need another striker.

“One thing Shankland can do in the Scottish League is put the ball in the back of the net and that’s been proven this season. It’s a brilliant return. He’s a proper penalty box striker. He can get involved in the build-up play but normally he’ll get it, lay it off and his first thought is ‘I’m getting in that box’.”

“Brilliant signing”

Considering just how impressive Shankland has been following his move back to Scotland from Belgian club Beerschot this summer, it is easy to see why Ferguson believes that Beale could be interested in bringing the striker to Ibrox this winter.

Indeed, over his 19 Scottish Premiership appearances so far this season, the £750k-rated talent has been in devastating form, having already scored 15 goals, registered two assists and created two big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 3.2 shots – 1.6 of which have been on target – making 0.7 key passes and completing 0.5 dribbles per game.

For reference, no player in the top flight of Scottish football has scored more goals this season than Shankland’s 15, an extremely impressive feat considering the 27-year-old does not play for one of the Old Firm.

Speaking more generally, the £3k-per-week hitman’s returns have seen him average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.11, not only ranking him as Hearts’ second-best performer in the league but also as the 17th-best player in the top flight of Scottish football as a whole this term.

Furthermore, Joel Sked has clearly been extremely impressed with Shankland since his return to Tynecastle, with the Scottish journalist stating of the striker in a post on Twitter back in December:

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Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst reacts

First up in this quiz on Rangers in 2022, who scored the Light Blues' first goal of the year?

“Lawrence Shankland has been different class for Hearts. So much more to his game than goals. His ability to drop in, act as that focal point and link play, his awareness and the way he creates space for himself. All so good and so vital.”

As such, should Morelos indeed go on to depart Ibrox in January or next summer, it would very much appear as if Shankland could be something of a dream successor to the Colombia international up top, as the 27-year-old has more than proven this season that he has what it takes to hit the back of the net on an incredibly regular basis in Scotland.