Multiple reports have him as Steven Gerrard’s number one defensive target, so here we take a look at Joe Worrall.

The England Under-21 captain has been at Nottingham Forest since 2011, signing for the club at just 14 years of age. He’s made nearly 50 appearances at the City Ground, but has been frozen out under Aitor Karanka this season.

The centre-back broke through into the side after a loan spell at Dangeham and Redbridge. He came back to make his Forest debut on October 2016 in a 2-0 defeat to Reading.

Worral made his debut against Reading in 2016 (Getty Images)

That performance was hailed as strong by supporters, and Worrall found himself making 21 appearances between then and the end of the season.

Previously, Worrall was a mainstay in both the under-18s and under-23 sides, coming through the Forest academy.

It’s not a club CV that will excite Rangers fans, but his international credentials just might.

An International Treasure

Worrall took his England Under-21 side to the prestigious Toulon Tournament and won it as captain. The 21-year-old played a commanding role at the back, and really grew into his role as the leader throughout the competition.

It seemed that the defender’s career was flying, and could only go up. However, Karanka doesn’t view him in his short-term or medium-term plans at the moment. This now gives Rangers the perfect chance to snatch a young, up-and-coming defender for nothing on a loan deal.

Worrall went on loan to Dagenham and Redbridge (Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Worrall wouldn’t replace either Connor Goldson or Nikola Katic. However, what he would provide is strong depth should injury or suspension occur to either one.

Rangers would provide the perfect next step in Worrall’s development. He’s impressed throughout his time at the City Ground. However, he’s unfortunate to not be involved in the first-team these days.

The chance to build a winning mentality and experience pressure of having to win every week must be making Worrall want to get up to Ibrox as soon as possible. It’s also a tremendous opportunity for the youngster to work with a former England captain in Gerrard.

It remains to be seen whether Rangers do indeed go for Worrall. He has decent first-team experience as well as strong international pedigree at a young age.

Gerrard still needs cover at the back, and Worrall would definitely provide it.

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