Rangers were swept aside by Aberdeen at Ibrox on Tuesday, and never has the lack of a proper number ten in Steven Gerrard’s squad been more glaringly obvious.
Gerrard has made it clear on several occasions that he is not afraid to shake up the squad in the transfer window, but the manager and club missed a massive opportunity in the January window.
Having beaten Celtic to ramp up the title race at the end of December, the Gers signed five players, and not one of them plays the position that was most in need of strengthening – number ten.
Gerrard has not had a proper playmaker to roam around behind Alfredo Morelos all season, and his persistence with Scott Arfield, who has managed seven goals this campaign, is truly baffling.
Rangers deserved to take their second Ibrox defeat of the campaign on Tuesday, as Derek McInnes’ side bossed the match in every department, and completely stifled the home side’s attack.
The Dons’ early goal was a big help of course, allowing them to sit back and let Rangers play in front of them, but all of the play was exactly that – in front of the defence.
In Morelos, Ryan Kent and Daniel Candeias, Gerrard has three front men who will work tirelessly down the channels, and they all possess the pace to get in behind. The big problem is that there is no one with the quality to actually find them when they make those runs.
Arfield, who has occupied the playmaker role for large parts of this season, was barely in the game on Tuesday night, and he simply doesn’t have the dynamism and unpredictability required to be the man responsible for breaking down a deep defence.
If Gerrard and the Gers are going to make a real go of challenging for silverware next season, then a creative number ten has to be the first priority in the summer transfer window.