Rangers, if they can help it, do not tend to make a habit of signing players the wrong side of 30.
This is simply the nature of being a club in a league such as the Scottish Premiership. A division where even the biggest and best-supported sides must sell in order to survive. Rangers, much like Old Firm rivals Celtic, employ a transfer strategy built largely upon the foundations of ‘buy low, sell high’, even if they have faced criticism for letting their prized assets go when their valuations are on the wane.
The likes of Todd Cantwell, Nicolas Raskin, Ridvan Yilmaz and co were not merely signed to improve Rangers’ squad. They arrived in the hope that, after a couple of seasons of development, the Gers would succeed in selling them on for a profit, before reinvesting the money accrued via their departures.
With this in mind, Giannis Kotsiras always felt like a bit of an awkward fit.
Rangers close in on Dujon Sterling deal
The Glasgow World reported back in April that the Panathinaikos right-back was a name on Rangers’ summer wishlist; first-team development coach Harry Watling planning a trip to Greece in order to run the rule over the Panathinakos right-back.
MORE RANGERS STORIES
Now, Rangers are not totally averse to bringing in more experienced campaigners. Aaron Ramsey, Antonio Colak, Jermain Defoe, Jon McLaughlin and co have all called Ibrox home over the last few seasons.
But Rangers already have one 30-something right-back in James Tavernier. Bringing in another – Kotsiras will turn 31 himself in December – would have made little sense from a financial perspective. Or, perhaps, from a sporting one either.
Dujon Sterling, reportedly on his way to Rangers after agreeing terms, ticks far more boxes (Daily Record). The 23-year-old – a free-agent with his Chelsea contract expiring in July – is expected to play the role of understudy to Tavernier before potentially replacing him in the starting XI somewhere down the line.
A signing not just with the present in mind but the future too.
Furthermore, his expert defensive positioning and well-timed tackles mean Sterling not only gives Beale another option at right-back, but a different option too. An Aaron Wan-Bissaka-type alternative to Tavernier’s Trent Alexander-Arnold perhaps.
“Dujon, for me, is arguably one of the best one-on-one defenders I’ve seen. There are very few players who get past him,” Sterling’s former Stoke City boss Alex Neil tells Lancs Live.
“He is strong, powerful and determined.”
Three words Beale will hope could be used to describe Rangers in 2023/24.