The Chalkboard: Arrival of Sheyi Ojo can transform Rangers’ right flank

Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo is on the verge of arriving at Rangers after the Anfield side gave the green light to a loan deal, according to The Daily Record.

The paper reckon he will join up with Steven Gerrard’s squad for pre-season as the Ibrox boss prepares his team for a gauntlet of UEFA Europa League qualifiers this July and August.

It means we now have a firmer idea of how Gerrard’s team might look for those initial matches, even if any deal for Ryan Kent has yet to be decided on by the Reds.

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On the chalkboard

Whether Kent arrives or not is actually fairly irrelevant to Ojo’s potential in the Rangers team, with the 21-year-old more accustomed to playing on the right wing rather than the left, where Kent shines.

The right flank is where Daniel Candeias has been plying his trade over the last two years, a much different style of wide player who often focuses on an early ball or cross to catch out the opposition defensive line, with his right foot proving effective.

Ojo is a player far more adept at running at defenders and taking them on directly, much like what Kent offered last season. The same can be said of Jake Hastie, whose direct nature thrilled Motherwell supporters in the first few months of 2019.

The recruitment of both hints at Gerrard attempting to bring a ‘double trouble’ approach to Rangers’ attack, rather than solely relying on Kent, or new signing Jordan Jones, as the team’s main probing, attacking outlet on the left.

As a left-footed player, Ojo is also pre-disposed to cutting inside, something captain James Tavernier can capitalise on by overlapping down the outside.

The Rangers full-back is the most attacking defender in Scottish football and the space that a dribbler like Ojo can create by shifting inside is something that is potentially massive for the 27-year-old.

How it all works out in reality remains to be seen, but for now, Rangers fans are likely optimistic and excited to see the Gers manager put such a focus on attack in the early stages of the summer.