Transfer Focus: Rangers move for Umaro Balde could be bad news for Rossiter and Docherty

Rangers are looking to sign Sporting Lisbon midfield prospect Umaro Balde, according to The Evening Times.

What’s the story?

With players like Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie already completing deals to make a move to Ibrox this summer, Steven Gerrard and the recruitment team at Rangers are clearly looking to get as much early transfer business done as possible.

The paper say Balde, who is still just 16 years of age, could be the next in line for an unveiling. He is set to agree a two-year deal that will see him join up initially with the club’s youth and development teams.

However, the path to the first-team for young talents has been pretty clear over the last 18 months so his chances of getting some playing time under Gerrard is good.

Given he is a Portuguese youth international hopes will be high amongst Gers supporters that he is a serious talent.

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What does it mean for other midfielders at Rangers?

For first-team regulars such as Scott Arfield, Ryan Jack and Steven Davis there is likely little threat to their team status from an untested teenager, but his presence at the club could make it difficult for others to get the game time they need.

Players such as Jordan Rossiter and Greg Docherty are returning from loan and although they are significantly older and more experienced than Balde, it does give them more competition when it comes to being a back-up option at Ibrox.

Gerrard has shown he isn’t afraid to play very young players if they are good enough, the best example being Glenn Middleton on the wing.

He joined from Norwich last year, initially for the academy, but it wasn’t long before he was playing in the UEFA Europa League.

If Balde is a quality prospect then the Gers boss will want to invest time into his development rather than others who have had an opportunity in his squad.

For up-and-comers like Rossiter and Docherty that could severely limit their chances of regular football over the next couple of years.