Steven Gerrard is facing the very real possibility of finally dethroning Celtic this season but Rangers’ business in the January transfer window could determine whether they achieve their ultimate aim.
If recent reports are anything to go by, it seems the 39-year-old manager wants a new centre-forward to bolster his side’s title credentials.
According to the Daily Record, the Gers are in the market for Stoke City’s Tyrese Campbell, though Celtic are also interested in securing his signature.
The report claims the 20-year-old could move for just £400k in the summer and Rangers have already been scouting him south of the border.
Given his age and relative inexperience, he is considered a prospect who could command value in the years to come.
Campbell, who is the son of former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell, clearly has pedigree. Not only does goal scoring run in his family – with his dad scoring 82 Premier League goals in his career – but he was also once on the books of Manchester City before he joined Stoke in search of first team opportunities.
As a 15-year-old he was regarded as one of the most talented prospects in England and was wanted by the Gunners at the time, per Daily Mail.
That Campbell has made just 19 Championship appearances for the Potters suggests his career hasn’t quite taken off as many may have expected, but positive murmurs coming out of his current club hint he’s destined for a bright future in the game.
Gareth Jennings, Stoke City’s academy director, had this to say about Campbell’s style of play, per Stoke Sentinel: “In terms of a modern day centre-forward, he’s got pace and power. He needs a bit of encouragement to run in behind and use it correctly but that’s part of his development plan.”
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But it’s the words of Stoke’s U23 manager Kevin Russell, who highlights his versatility as a major asset, that really offer encouragement for the Ibrox faithful.
“I think he’s developed well. He came from City where he was used to playing one way really but we’ve played different systems and different formations which have helped his game.
“He’s had to play in a two, in a diamond, in a 3-5-2… and that side of the game has helped him. City tend to play one way all the way through the Academy.”
The suggestion from Russell is that Campbell is comfortable playing in a variety of formations and adapting to more than one style of play, and that should hold him in good stead to thrive under Gerrard.
Equally, that Campbell scored two and assisted one from a right attacking midfield position in a 5-2 win over Huddersfield last weekend speaks volumes about his ability to perform well away from his natural centre-forward position.
It’s too early to suggest Rangers are guaranteed to be on to a winner here, but there are encouraging signs the club could steal a genuine bargain if they are able to clinch a £400k deal.