At the beginning of the year Rangers target and form Stoke City striker Tyrese Campbell had a big decision to make over his future.
The ex-Man City kid’s contract was set to expire with the Championship club and both Rangers and Celtic were reportedly hovering [Herald].
It’s since been confirmed that the 20-year-old striker was in talks with the Ibrox club – by his father and ex-Premier League striker Kevin no less [Football Insider] – but the forward decided to stay at the Britannia.
Since signing the four-and-a-half year with Michael O’Neill’s side Campbell has cemented himself as the main man for the Championship club.
It might take a few seasons to steer Stoke back on course, their relegation from the Premier League and subsequent lower tier toils an all too familiar image in the English game.
But they are certainly on the up under the ex-Northern Ireland boss who has hauled them from the foot of the Championship into the race for a play-off place, and perhaps even better.
Much of that is down to the form of this powerful goalscorer who despite his young age is already in talismanic form for the Potters.
In 12 Championship games this season Campbell his six goals and six assists, meaning he has directly contributed to 12 of the club’s 21 goals this season.
Campbell hauled Stoke back into the match against Norwich in the club’s most recent match, but his goal wasn’t enough to spark a complete comeback from 3-0 down in a 3-2 defeat.
It’s little wonder fan leaders within the Stoke support are valuing their explosive striker to the tune of £25m [Stoke Sentinel].
Whilst we don’t know exactly how close this talented young English forward came to signing for Rangers but we do know that we were definitely in the reckoning for the striker.
On current form at Stoke – and with ambitions to fire the club back to the Premier League – he’s showing us exactly what we’re missing with his performances for Michael O’Neill’s renewed Potters side.