Rangers are closing in on the signing of Kieran Dowell with Norwich City’s sporting director Stuart Webber explaining why the former Everton youngster is being allowed to leave Carrow Road.
This is already shaping up to be the ‘summer of the free-agent’ at Ibrox.
Rangers confirmed on Tuesday that the likes of Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, Allan McGregor, Filip Helander and Scott Arfield will be departing when their contracts expire at the end of June. And the Glasgow giants look destined to replace some of their longest-serving players with another crop of ‘unattached’ talent, rebuilding their squad on a budget while freeing up funds for more ambitious additions.
Jack Butland looks like the obvious frontunner to take McGregor’s place between the sticks. Chelsea’s Dujon Sterling will add depth at the back. Kieran Dowell, meanwhile, could fill the Arfield role in Mick Beale’s much-changed squad; a stylish central midfielder who loves to break into the penalty area in pursuit of goals or assists.
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And Webber admits that a desire for a fresh start after a hugely disappointing 2022/23 campaign was a major factor in Norwich also bidding farewell to a hatful of experienced players.
Kieran Dowell is leaving Norwich City for Rangers
“We’ve naturally come to the end of a cycle,” Webber explains to EDP24. “That was the third team I’d built since I’ve been here.
“We look at Michael McGovern, Sam Byram, Kieran Dowell, Teemu Pukki all leaving. And Tim Krul, not leaving, but, maybe losing his status as being number one.
“There’s naturally going to be more work done this year than other years. I think there’s a need for that. One of my regrets, or learnings from last summer, was probably I should have done a couple more (deals) and freshened it up a little bit.
“Just to bring a different energy from ones who maybe hadn’t been beaten up by what happened the year before and relegation. We definitely need to change that.”
Dowell was, at least, one of Norwich’s better performers during a season which ended in a dismal bottom-half finish. The Merseyside-born midfielder scored five goals and set up three more, and he can emulate the impact of former Norwich team-mate Todd Cantwell north of the border then Rangers will be a team much improved in 2023/24.
“It’ll be a great move for Kieran. He’s a talented boy. A technical type who is very clever in the way he drops deep and finds space.
“He has got an eye for goal too, but he also likes to bring the players around him into play. He’s different to what Rangers have at the moment. Keiran’s not going to be like Ryan Kent and hang out wide.”