Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says he’s considering handing a start to Florian Kamberi for Thursday night’s Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen, as quoted by the Scottish Herald.
The Gers welcome the in-form German club to Ibrox for the first leg of their last 16 clash, looking to continue their outstanding home form in the competition.
So far, they’ve recorded seven wins and a draw from eight fixtures in Govan across qualifying and the competition proper, with Braga the latest victims in the Round of 32.
Alfredo Morelos has been key to the bulk of those triumphs but is in poor form and not necessarily guaranteed to start this one, with fellow forward Kamberi pushing for a spot.
“It’s definitely on my mind, for sure,” said Gerrard, as quoted by the Scottish Herald. “Kamberi, to be fair to him, has been a breath of fresh air whether it’s been a cameo from the bench or when we’ve asked him to start.”
“He’s really tried to carry out what we’ve asked of him. He’s brought energy to the team and again at the weekend, you could see his impact with his sheer presence and selfless style with the way he plays. I’ve been really pleased with him.
“But over the course of both games, I’m sure we’re going to need Alfredo and Flo with the disappointment of not having Jermain Defoe as he’ll miss both games.
“It’ll be who I think, in front of this crowd, can do the best job for the team. I’ll go from there, but I haven’t made the decision just yet.”
These are interesting comments from Gerrard, who hasn’t been shy in praising Kamberi since his arrival on loan from Hibernian in January.
Standing at a powerfully-built 6ft 4″, the Swiss-born forward certainly brings an aerial threat, but also has plenty of technical ability.
His biggest contribution so far in Light Blue came as a half-time substitute in the 2-2 draw at St Johnstone last month, when he scored once and registered an assist.
However, despite the fact that Morelos is off colour, having scored just once in ten appearances in 2020, it would be a major risk to leave him out for Kamberi.
The former is the joint top goalscorer in the competition and has looked unplayable at times across the campaign, whereas the latter, for all his endeavour, looked less threatening and was regularly caught offside away in Braga.