As Rangers’ January 2nd Old Firm clash with Celtic is rearranged to February due to Covid-19 restrictions on crowds, much of the talk has centred around who won’t be available for the Gers.
With a January transfer window to come – and ominous comments from GVB regarding potential work on his squad – one or two of the club’s key stars may have left the club by the game.
There’s also the issue of the Africa Cup of Nations, which could see anywhere up to three key first teamers in Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo on international duty with Nigeria.
But whilst losing any of our key stars as a result of the rearranged match would be a major blow, the month-long extension also means the hero from the last Old Firm may well make the game.
Filip Helander could make Rangers return ahead of rearranged Celtic clash
Rangers’ Swedish international centre-back Filip Helander is for many Rangers fans the club’s best defensive option and a big loss from the side in recent weeks.
We’re still having flashbacks to that six-game run where we conceded the first goal before Giovanni van Bronckhorst came in.
The notion that Big Fil may be available for the Old Firm in February – the defender scoring the winner in the 1-0 Ibrox return earlier in the season – is a major boost for Rangers.
Recovering from knee surgery after an unorthodox injury sustained against St Johnstone, Helander is still working back his fitness and has yet to return for the team.
If Rangers can get the defender back in the squad and back up to fitness for the rearranged trip to Celtic Park, it may well soften the blow of any departures/international requirements
The £3m ex-Bologna centre-back isn’t the only player Rangers are currently working back to full fitness either – Leon Balogun (AFCON providing), Ryan Jack and Kemar Roofe are all sidelined heading into the winter break.
Whilst there remains doubts there will be a crowd of over 500 in the stadium for the match amid the Omicron wave, Rangers could be boosted by additions to their own travelling party.
In transfer news, one Premier League side are reportedly preparing for another Rangers bid in January with a top club talent in their sights.