This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Rangers have sold Daniel Candeias to Genclerbirligi. He is the fifth player Steven Gerrard has permanently gotten rid of so far this summer.
In moving to Turkey, the 31-year-old joins Gareth MacAuley, Lee Wallace, Ryan Hardie and Lee Hodson in finding pastures new away from Ibrox. Youngsters Ross McCrorie and Jordan Rossiter have also been loaned out as Gerrard reshapes his squad.
In the £250,000 deal, the winger has ended his spell at the Gers after just two years and nearly 100 games, stopping just shy of the landmark on 97 games.
At 31, there was no guarantee that Candeias could continue to average roughly 50 games anymore. As well as getting older, the added competition from new arrivals Jake Hastie, Sheyi Ojo, Greg Stewart and Jordan Jones might’ve been a contributing factor to the Portuguese ace moving on.
As well as the four wingers brought to Ibrox this summer, Gerrard has added Filip Helander, Steve Davis, Joe Aribo and George Edmundson. The eight new arrivals have an average age of just 24.8-years-old, a stark contrast to the outgoings.
The five players to leave the Light Blues for good this summer have a mean age of a whopping 30, considerably higher than the pups coming in this summer.
With Kyle Lafferty, Jason Holt, Eros Grezda and Graham Dorrans all set to go, according to Football Insider, it looks like a deliberate ploy from Gerrard and Director of Football Mark Allen.
The lowering of the average age of the squad by Allen and the manager could be a direct consequence of the amount of football they’ll expect to play this season.
A repeat of the last year’s Europa League group stage qualification would mean at least 14 continental matches (qualifiers and the six group games). The league of course brings 38 guaranteed games and with the thirst for silverware desperately needing to be quenched, deep runs in both domestic cups could make for a hectic schedule at Ibrox this season.
With the potential for a 60-game season certainly on the cards, it is perhaps no surprise to see the gaffer make a conscious effort to freshen up his squad with younger, fitter players.
This change in approach should hold the Gers in good stead come the turn of the year, when the chaos of competing on multiple fronts can really take its toll.