He’s about to sign for the club, but will Gareth McAuley even play consistently for Rangers?
The former West Bromwich Albion man left the Baggies after they were relegated from the Premier League in May. McAuley made just 12 appearances last term, and is a natural centre-back.
The move would signal Rangers’ 15th signing in the summer transfer market. Much of those signings have instantly improved the squad, but where will McAuley fit in at Ibrox?
Rangers already have Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson forming an impressive partnership at centre-back. The duo were also summer signings and have been the number one partnership all season.
Steven Gerrard has signed Joe Worrall until the end of the season also from Nottingham Forest. Gerrard has already confirmed to Aitor Karanka that the centre-back will feature regularly for the club.
Therefore, where does McAuley fit in? You have to imagine this is simply a signature for cover and nothing else.
Gerrard has, in the past, spoken of Katic as a “baby” that has to develop. This isn’t the case for Goldson, who’s Gerrard’s golden goose at the back.
With Worrall expected to get game-time, this would surely limit McAuley’s chances of much if any first-team action.
Regardless, it’s clear that Gerrard likes the Northern Irishman, who’s made just under 80 appearances for his country. McAuley certainly brings a wealth of experience to Ibrox with him, and could help the likes of Katic develop further.
Gerrard told the BBC that he expects the centre-back to be his final signing of the summer. It would mark the end of what’s been an incredible summer revolution.
In terms of McAuley, first-team game-time is limited for him given the options at Gerrard’s disposal. A solid performer on his day, he’ll add quality cover and provide an extra body at the back.
Rangers lost David Bates, Fabio Cardoso, and Bruno Alves from their centre-back options in the summer. Gerrard deserves huge acknowledgement and praise for bringing in quality where quantity left.
McAuley shouldn’t see regular game-time, but will be vital experienced head to have around the defence.