There were enough positive performances last season for Rangers fans to justify feelings of optimism heading into the new season.
The summer transfer window, however, will dictate their endeavour to end the Hoops’ domination in the SPFL, and Steven Gerrard will need to clear out a handful of players from his squad to give his side the best possible chance of clinching the title next season.
Lee Hodson and Lee Wallace have both been allowed to leave on free transfers to Gillingham and QPR respectively, but there are other players within the squad who should follow them out the exit door.
With that in mind, Football FanCast have taken a look at what Gerrard should do with his squad before the summer window draws to a close…
Allan McGregor – Keep him: McGregor returned to his boyhood club six years after leaving for Besiktas, and the now 37-year-old keeper remains one of Scotland’s best. Gerrard will be wise to keep the veteran as his number one next season.
Wes Foderingham – Sell him: Being a backup stopper in the peak years of your career is a painful sight to see, so Gerrard must allow him the opportunity to seek first-team football.
Borna Barisic – Keep him: Poor form and injuries might have put a dampener on Barisic’s first season in Scotland, but the left-back can prove to be a good option on the bench.
Jon Flanagan – Keep him: A surprise free signing last summer, Flanagan has been a useful player so far – despite being a touch inconsistent – playing both full-back positions and turning up whenever called upon. Hopefully he will move on an upward trajectory next season.
Connor Goldson – Keep him: Goldson firmly established himself as one of the top defenders in Scotland in his debut season with Rangers, and at 26 the former Brighton man can lead the defensive line for years to come.
Gareth McAuley – Sell him: At 39, it is incredible that McAuley is still going strong in professional football, but after making just seven appearances last season it could be time for the Northern Ireland veteran to move on.
Nikola Katic – Keep him: A Croatia international already, Katic has the potential to be a star at Rangers if he continues to improve at the rate he has been going at. Gerrard has to start him more next season.
Matt Polster – Loan him: It was a difficult few months for Polster, who found it difficult to get a sniff of first-team football, but that shouldn’t mean Rangers should give up on him now. A loan move will do the American some good.
James Tavernier – Keep him: The Rangers captain had one of the craziest statistical seasons for a defender this year, scoring 17 and assisting 20 in all-competitions. Gerrard simply has to keep hold of him.
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Scott Arfield – Keep him: Returning to Scottish football eight years after leaving it, Arfield didn’t miss a beat for Rangers this season, being one of Gerrard’s most reliable players and a name that will likely stick around for a while.
Steven Davis – Keep him: Davis was another Premier League name Gerrard was able to tempt north of the border, and just like Arfield, the midfielder became essential for Rangers last season. The club did well to turn his loan move into a permanent one.
Graham Dorrans – Sell him: The midfielder’s once promising stint in Glasgow has faded in unfortunate circumstances and it’s unlikely he’ll return from his injury nightmare with anything to offer that Gerrard’s current options don’t already provide.
Andy Halliday – Keep him: A Swiss-army knife of a player, Halliday played everywhere for Rangers last season, proving his worth to the squad as a solid backup option.
Ryan Jack – Keep him: Jack continued to assert himself as one of the best midfielders in the country with a stellar second season with Rangers. The former Aberdeen man has been unlucky not to receive a Scotland call-up.
Glen Kamara – Keep him: Despite being at Rangers for only half a season, Glen Kamara is already being tipped with a move away from Scotland after starting his career in glistening fashion. According to TEAMtalk, Brighton are interested in signing the midfielder in a double swoop for Kamara and Tavernier. Gerrard absolutely needs to ensure the Finland international remains at the Ibrox.
Ross McCrorie – Loan him: McCrorie got his first taste of first-team football this season after breaking into Gerrard’s squad, but consecutive starts have been hard to come by. A year out on loan could do wonders for the 21-year-old.
Jordan Rossiter – Keep him: Rossiter’s career hasn’t gone to plan after so much excitement in his younger days at Liverpool, but things finally look to be going right for the midfielder. A stellar season at Bury should give him a chance to prove himself under Gerrard, and the club would be wise to retain him for the year. However, according to The Scottish Sun, Rossiter has been told to find a new club. It will be intriguing to see how much truth there is in those reports.
Daniel Candeias – Keep him: Candeias was an ever-present fixture of Gerrard’s starting XI, and in a season in which the Portuguese winger scored six and assisted 12 in all-competitions, the attacker is likely to keep his place for next term.
Eros Grezda – Sell him: A weird signing to begin with, Grezda has been an underwhelming figure in the Rangers squad this season. The Albanian has been poor whenever called upon and could do with a move away.
Kyle Lafferty – Sell him: The Northern Ireland international has only been back at Rangers for a year, but it is looking like he is already heading for the exit door. Fans have been unable to get behind him due to poor form and problems away from the field, and Gerrard should be looking to sell the former Norwich man.
Glenn Middleton – Keep him: The 19-year-old came into his own last season after breaking into Gerrard’s squad. With Ryan Kent unlikely to return for a second season, Middleton could have a major chance to flourish next season.
Alfredo Morelos – Keep him: The best striker in Scotland, Morelos has been the talisman for Rangers for the past two seasons. If Gerrard is to dethrone Celtic as the top-dog in the country, the Colombian must remain at Ibrox.
Jamie Murphy – Keep him: An ACL injury kept Murphy out for the majority of the season. After starting the campaign well with a goal and three assists in all-competitions, the winger deserves time to recover and prove his quality.