Transfer Focus: Move for Stewart Downing would be a big Rangers mistake

Rangers are showing interest in former Middlesbrough and Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing, according to Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie.

What’s the story?

With the departure of Ryan Kent back to Liverpool after the expiration of his loan, manager Steven Gerrard is on the hunt for wide midfielders he feels can make an impact Ibrox next season.

Sky Sports’ North East reporter Downie reckons the Gers are one of three clubs chasing Downing after he left Middlesbrough at the end of the season, with Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers also credited with an interest.

Gerrard connection

The Rangers manager of course will be more than familiar with Downing considering they played together not just in the England set-up, but also at Liverpool for two seasons in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Gerrard has demonstrated already he isn’t afraid to bring veterans to the club, signing up players such as Allan McGregor, Steven Davis, Gareth McAuley and Jermain Defoe to the cause.

Check out Keith from C’mon the Hoops’ fascinating video on the origins of the Old Firm derby below…

Not what Rangers need

Downing is about to turn 35 and having played at left wing for the majority of his career would look to be a potential replacement for Kent on that side of the pitch, but clearly is a different kind of player who relies less on his pace and attacking contribution.

Rangers need exciting, direct wingers on both flanks next season to try and punish opposition defences and although the former Boro man has shown versatility in his later years, just doesn’t have that cutting edge anymore that can slice open a backline who sit in and are under pressure.

The reputation of Ibrox as a retirement home for former Premier League players can’t be allowed to take hold and they must look to utilise the skills of young, hungry individuals like Kent instead if they are to challenge Celtic next season.