Rangers ten expendables – Michael Beale’s squad sale situation

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By Graeme Hanna

Michael Beale has already made seven new signings for the upcoming season, with at least another couple to follow. The squad is stacked at the top end of the pitch but there needs to be some attention to the defence, with its existing flaws underlined in Wednesday night’s loss to Olympiacos. In addition to that, player departures are necessary with the squad currently showing a bloated guise. Important funds need to be recouped as well, after the relatively significant outlay to deliver the recent arrivals.

In terms of potential outgoings over the next few weeks, let’s have a look at those who could be considered expendable or likely to exit the stage.

For one reason or another, Jon McLaughlin, Robby McCrorie, Ben Davies, Borna Barisic, John Lundstram, Glen Kamara, Ianis Hagi, Fashion Sakala, Scott Wright, and Rabbi Matondo make up a realistic list of those who could be deemed surplus to requirements, with further movement expected very soon. The manager hinted further regarding exits with his comments on the European squad, after the game last night.

What we do know is that not all of the 10 players listed above will move on. No chance. Five or six is likely to be the maximum.

In other Follow Follow Rangers news, Michael Beale’s summer signings, so far,  are assessed.

There is a strong case for asset sales in terms of Kamara and Davies, as they should be sold for football and financial reasons. The Finland international clearly needs a fresh start elsewhere and that is hardly a secret. He is fully expected to leave promptly whilst the Englishman arrived last summer in a deal worth a reported £4million.

He is a decent player but not what Rangers need in the heart of defence. This one requires a ruthless call. Sell and reinvest in a more aggressive, robust defender.

A question mark hangs over Hagi who faces a challenge to carve out a role for himself in amongst the new attacking arrivals at the club. It is great to see that he has recovered from injury but is he good or consistent enough to make a place his own? Doubtful. If a suitable offer is received, Rangers would likely be open to doing business.

Lundstram has only one year remaining on his deal and given that he has hardly been a resounding success, why not make a sale now if there’s enough interest? We often hear of him being a ‘leadership figure’ in the squad but out on the pitch is where it matters most. On that score, too often he is found wanting and that also applies to Borna Barisic, whose best is clearly behind him. He was floundering last season and quite simply, he’s not going to improve now.

With Beale now having an abundance of options in attack, Wright and Matondo aren’t going to feature. The former is said to be still talking to Turkish side Pendikspor whilst the latter, a one-time Welsh international, will hopefully find a new club soon.  His move has really not worked out, to say the least, leaving a lot to be desired but with an apparent onerous contract, a loan may be the only option.

Then there is the enigma of Sakala. His energy, endeavour and enthusiasm cannot be doubted, but too many times he has proven that he can’t be relied upon when it truly matters. Conversely, his numbers are more than decent and will need to be replaced, but that also should mean it will take a fair offer for his sale.

That brings us to the goalkeepers. With Jack Butland clearly recruited as first choice, who will his back-up be? Recent reports have indicated that McCrorie wants to play games elsewhere and few would blame him for that aspiration. He should have offers on the table, but hopefully, he could remain as McLaughlin remains an uninspiring option, even as the second choice.

The problem is that there is always only going to be a certain profile that will be content not to feature in most games.

In addition, loan exits could be sought for the likes of Alex Lowry or Leon King, and perhaps one or two of those discussed above.

A lot of money has been spent, it’s now time to balance the books and the squad.

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