Rangers have received a big boost regarding Ibrox-bound star Fashion Sakala after he was excused from international duty.
The Zambia international signed a pre-contract deal with the Gers in May before completing the Belgian Pro League season with KV Oostende.
That wasn’t due to be the end of his commitments before his permanent switch to Glasgow, with his country set to play three friendlies this month.
However, in a respectful gesture, national team manager Milutin Sredojevic has confirmed that he has left Sakala out of his squad in order to keep him injury-free and to give him longer to prepare for his Ibrox bow.
“Fashion is about to realise his childhood dream of playing at a top football club,” he said [Daily Record]. “He is going to Rangers in Scotland and is due to undergo medicals before he starts his training as he completes his switch from Oostende.”
“The last thing I want to do is endanger his career through picking up an injury and it would be unfair to the country to summon him for national team assignments.
“We know that we need him in the future, we know that he is very important, and we know that he is undoubtedly patriotic.”
Although huge opportunities await several Rangers stars at Euro 2020 this summer, most Bears would likely prefer it if all the players were wrapped up in cotton wool like this for the next month or so.
With medical assessments approaching for Sakala, though, it’s undoubtedly particularly crucial that he stays fit in the short term, and as Champions League qualifiers fall at the beginning of the season, skipping international duty gives him the best opportunity to be firing on all cylinders by the time they arrive.
The 24-year-old scored 16 goals in the Belgian top-flight during the recently completed season and is expected to bring more dynamism to the Gers’ forward line.