Eight Rangers stars now major doubts for Champions League return v Ajax

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Eight Rangers stars now major doubts for Champions League return v Ajax

As Rangers jet off to the Netherlands to face Ajax the club could be set to play their first Champions League game in twelve years without as many as eight first-team stars.

Of that number four of the players could also be first-team summer signings as the club’s transfer policy continues to be scrutinised by Rangers supporters.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Gers are coming into this clash off the back of a 4-0 Celtic Park humbling with the Ibrox side now trailing their eternal rivals by five points after only six games.

But European football has been a Godsend for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his team who without it would surely be staring down the barrel of an Ibrox gun.

The Dutchman deserves credit for getting Rangers firstly to the Europa League Final and now to the Champions League group stages with a threadbare squad in action during both occasions.

Rangers to face Ajax with series of key players missing

The Ibrox roster is both bloated and thin in a paradoxical complaint which relates mostly to the fact we seem addicted to buying players who spend more time on the treatment table than they do on the pitch.

Injury issues surrounding perennial crocks Filip Helander and Kemar Roofe are so bad they haven’t even been included in the Champions League squad and it’s not exactly clear if and when either of these high-earners will a kick a ball for the club again.

Joining them on the long-term injury list is Romanian international Ianis Hagi – another who won’t exactly be earning peanuts – whilst youth talent Alex Lowry completes the list of missing stars signed pre-22/23.

But whilst you’d think Rangers would’ve signed some names to curb these problems this summer the majority of the club’s summer signings are also laid up on the treatment table.

John Souttar – the Scotland international’s career partly defined by long-term injury problems – is not available for this match.

Ben Davies, who was signed for £4m from Liverpool this summer, has barely been seen since joining the club and there are doubts about his inclusion against Ajax.

Tom Lawrence is also set to miss this game and joins the worryingly long list of wounded at Rangers with Rabbi Matondo also a doubt after missing the Celtic drubbing through illness.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

The squad, we were told, is strong enough to compete on all four fronts. We assume this is on paper and not in reality given the injury list.

Nonetheless, expect this Rangers team to respond in Europe as they always do and it’s telling the bulk of supporters are less anxious for a trip to Ajax then they are to Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, one Rangers star indirectly finds himself at the centre of an Ibrox leak story.