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Did Scotland’s form at Euro 2024 give Lawrence Shankland a shot at Rangers move?

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Scotland’s number nine, Lawrence Shankland, ended the 2023-24 SPL season in red-hot form for Hearts. The Glasgow-born 28-year-old finished the campaign with 24 goals in 37 SPL appearances, an identical goalscoring record to his 2022-23 SPL figures. All of which underlines the level of consistency Shankland has added to his game since joining from Belgian side, Beerschot.

Shankland’s form for the Jambos saw him rightly called up to Scotland’s Euro 2024 squad. He was handed the number nine jersey for the tournament but has struggled for game time in the group stage, with Che Adams preferred to him against Germany and Switzerland.

With just two goals in two group games, it was no surprise to see the Scottish press start to lead the calls for Shankland to start against Hungary. However, he was once again named on the bench, only getting a 15-minute run-out in the closing stages as desperation began to set in. Shankland looked sharp in this period, making intelligent runs and looking a general goal threat. However, the team slipped to a last-gasp defeat, knocking them out of the competition.

All of which means England are flying the flag solo for the UK in the knockout stages. According to https://www.bet365.com/hub/en-gb/football/football-competitions/euros, England are joint-second favourites to win the tournament alongside hosts, Germany, with France the current favourites to become European champions again.

It’s a big summer for Shankland, despite the Euros heartbreak

Gers fans will be watching Shankland like a hawk this summer, particularly with Rangers having closely monitored his progress in the last 12-18 months. Shankland, a self-confessed Rangers fan, would surely jump at the chance of donning the blue and white jersey. He will hope that if he’s made his mark on the national team, it’ll stand him in good stead for a big money move to Ibrox.

It feels like this summer will be a make-or-break one for Shankland. With just 12 months remaining on his Hearts contract and no progress made on a new long-term deal, the Jambos will surely look to cash in on their prized asset now instead of losing him for free this time next year. Given his contractual situation, Shankland would surely be a cheaper pick-up for Rangers boss, Philippe Clement, compared with the other strikers prepared to play in the SPL.

The current state of play for Rangers’ attacking options

Looking at Rangers’ existing striking options, a reshuffle may well be considered by the Ibrox hierarchy. Cyriel Dessers struck 20 goals across all competitions in 2023/24 but was roundly criticised throughout the season for being somewhat one-dimensional in his play. The Nigerian certainly knows where the back of the net is but his inability to link play and retain possession is a major red flag.

Brazilian forward, Danilo, is expected to return to the first team fold in 2024/25 after a serious fractured skull injury sustained nine months ago. He struck four goals in 12 appearances for the Gers after his £6m switch from Dutch side, Feyenoord. However, with Rangers hopefully battling on multiple fronts for trophies this coming season, they’ll need a third striking option to call upon. Could that man be Shankland? He is a goal machine in the mould of Michael Mols, who we recently interviewed back in March.

Herald & Times reporter, Chris Jack, believes it’s still unlikely. Jack cites Shankland’s patchy link-up play as one of the main reasons why Clement may be turned off his signing. However, having been quoted £5 million for Shankland last year, that figure may have halved due to his contractual situation. Can the Gers afford not to sign Shankland for less than half the cost of Danilo? Imagine him coming off the bench for the last 30 minutes in tight games where Rangers need a winning goal or another goal to kill off a plucky opponent. His finishing instincts are second to none in the SPL, as evidenced by his last two seasons at Hearts.

What will happen if the Gers don’t sign Shankland? Will he sit tight and see out the final year of his contract? Or will he agitate for a move at 28 years of age, knowing full well that he’s in the prime of his career and ready to test himself at a higher level? This article suggests he has a point to prove outside of Scotland.

A promotion-seeking EFL Championship side would do well to consider his services. Although he may not have the athleticism or technical ability to thrive in the Premier League, his goal threat would certainly add another dimension to a top six-chasing Championship outfit.

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