Joe Worrall’s loan spell at Rangers could be up in January, that much we’ve all heard already.
This morning, Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka admitted he could take the Englishman back down south in mid-season. With only two fit centre-backs in his squad at the moment, Worrall is in Karanka’s sights.
Despite admitting that he didn’t know whether he could bring him back, it remains a possibility.
Granted, it’s not great hearing that anyone around the first-team squad is set for their departure. In truth, however, today proved that Rangers certainly wouldn’t miss Worrall if he did head back to Forest.
Gareth McAuley partnered Connor Goldson at the heart of the Rangers defence today. It’s a partnership that Steven Gerrard has enjoyed playing with in recent weeks. Whilst Worrall has made 12 appearances for Rangers, he’s hardly been commanding.
In fact, in just four of those 12 appearances have Rangers kept clean sheets in. He nearly made a crucial error against Villarreal on Thursday night, and it wouldn’t be surprising if that was why he was dropped for Tynecastle.
Worrall isn’t in Rangers’ strongest centre-back pairing
Regardless, unfortunately for Worrall, Rangers looked a lot more solid without their English centre-back. It looks as though Goldson and McAuley will be the way forward, despite the latter’s unfortunate own goal this afternoon.
Where it will prove a problem is perhaps in squad depth. Rangers would only have Nikola Katic in reserve, and that could represent an issue. The club aren’t expecting to do much business in January, but an upgrade on Worrall would surely be possible.
The idea is that this should rock Rangers. Not having Worrall for the second-half of the season is supposed to be a blow. Is it? It depends on who you ask, but he’s done nothing to overly-impress as of yet.
Added to that, Worrall doesn’t particularly seem open to having a future at Ibrox beyond the end of the season. Losing him in January, when he’s nothing more than a rotational squad player, isn’t a disaster.
So whether Karanka wants to take him back to Forest or not, it shouldn’t matter from Rangers’ perspective. The Gers will have their targets in mind for January, and work should be done to make sure a replacement centre-back is also identified for cover.