Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has hinted at a possible exciting tactical tweak when commenting on Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten, as captured by RangersTV.
The two forwards joined the club during the summer window from Anderlecht and St Gallen respectively.
Roofe has three goals from seven appearances – the most recent of which being as spectacular as they come – but he has missed a lot of game time due to general fitness and calf issues.
Itten has had to shrug off a couple of niggles of his own but, to date, has largely found himself playing second fiddle to Alfredo Morelos.
However, both players are likely to receive more playing time in the coming weeks and Gerrard has hinted that a tactical tweak could be made to accommodate more than one forward in the starting XI.
“We really believe in him, we trust him that when he’s at his best he can contribute heavily to this team,” said Gerrard when asked initially about Roofe, as captured by RangersTV. “That’s in terms of scoring goals, creating goals but also his work ethic out of possession – what he can give to the team when he’s leading the line.”
“He’s also more of a hybrid forward, so he can play with a 9 as well which is really helpful with players like Jermain Defoe, Alfredo [Morelos] and Cedric [Itten] in the door.
“The good thing about Cedric and Kemar is that they can play with a number 9 as well, so it’s really interesting.”
Gerrard hints at possible Rangers tactical tweak during Roofe and Itten comments – Verdict
Rangers fans are accustomed to seeing their team set up with three central midfielders and three attackers, only one of whom is usually a striker.
Alfredo Morelos has tended to lead the line with Ryan Kent providing support from the left wing and one of Ianis Hagi, Brandon Barker or Jordan Jones operating from the right side.
Gerrard’s comments here hint that we could soon see a tweak to that model, though, with two genuine forwards on the pitch at once.
During Kyle Lafferty’s second spell at the club, attempts to go with two up top failed, but the manager clearly feels that Roofe and Itten are clever enough to provide a supporting role to a number 9 without getting in their teammate’s way and cluttering things in the final third.
The Gers have been in excellent form recently so there’s no pressing need for change but with almost the entire playing staff now available for selection, Gerrard has plenty of options at his disposal.