As the mouth-watering trip to Pittodrie lies in wait just days away, here we take a look at where Rangers can hurt opposition teams going forward.
The burden of goals currently lies with Alfredo Morelos, with many quick to get on the striker’s back should he fail to find the net on a consistent basis.
Some big misses from the Colombian striker against Shkupi led to Gerrard claiming that his squad isn’t efficient enough going forward, but stats show that there remains plenty of goals in this Rangers side.
Outside of Morelos, who remains an out-and-out goalscorer that is always good for a goal, Rangers now seem to have a host of attacking talents already in the squad.
Scott Arfield looks to be the man tasked with providing that spark in the centre of midfield, and he’s a proven English Championship quality player, with Premier League experience also under his belt. With the former Burnley midfielder more of a creative player than a goalscorer, he’s proven to have an eye for finding the net in the past, having scored 41 career goals to date. He’ll be expected to add to that strongly against Scottish Premiership opposition.
Youngster Ryan Kent remains to be a player that Rangers fans can genuinely get excited about. His directness and willingness to have a pop at goal when given sight seems to contradict his career stats so far. Having spent four loan spells at Coventry City, Barnsley, Freiburg, and Bristol City, Kent has only managed to notch four goals in 71 appearances.
Kent appears to have improved as a player since a couple of those spells, however, and he certainly looks to have all the attributes to assist and net the odd goal going forward. The Liverpool prodigy also nearly bagged a debut goal in Croatia against Osijek, and there looks to be a strong hunger in there to make things happen. This makes him a big part of where the goals could be coming from this season.
Despite being much-maligned, Josh Windass also has real pedigree in the Scottish game at this point. The midfielder had a prolonged purple patch last season, and managed to end the campaign with 15 goals.
Inconsistency plagued the midfielder, who continues to frustrate the Rangers supporters at times. However, there’s no doubt there’s a strong creative element to Windass’ play, and he remains one of the more reliable front-men to create and score goals.
Big strikes against Celtic, Aberdeen, and Hibernian last season showed that the former Accrington Stanley man is more than capable of making his mark in this side. It remains to be seen how much Gerrard uses Windass, but for now he remains a massive goal-threat for the Rangers manager.
Jamie Murphy looks to have some real competition on his hands to keep his place in the side. Once again though, he has the ability to hurt any side Scotland on his game.
Murphy has shown a fairly consistent goal-scoring record since joining Rangers from Burnley last January. On average, the former Motherwell man grabbed a goal every three games, but he’s always a player who looks for space when he gets the ball down the left. With a goal against Shkupi to his name already this season, it appears Murphy looks set to continue where he left off.
Umar Sadiq has also been brought in to try and release the weight of expectation off Morelos’ shoulders, and he looks to be a real handful early on. With a goal against Wigan Athletic to the on-loan Roma striker’s name already, Sadiq carries a physical presence that will give Premiership defenders something sizeable to think about.
With Rangers looking extremely lively down the flanks in preseason, this is where the likes of Sadiq could really profit with his aerial ability and strength to hold onto the ball. This should lead to some real chances for the Nigerian, who notched five goals in 12 appearances on loan at NAC Breda last season.
It looks as though Rangers will be carrying a real threat from set-pieces should Nikola Katic also continue his fine form. The Croatian centre-back has managed to net twice in two friendlies since arriving, and certainly isn’t afraid to have a pop at goal when he gets sight.
Of course, the burden of scoring isn’t exactly on the youngster’ agenda, but there’s firm reason to believe he’ll manage to bag a few from cross-balls this season.
Gerrard remains in the market for that elusive third striker, with Kyle Lafferty on his wish-list. Bringing in Hearts’ top scorer would also bring more of a goal threat to Rangers’ forward line as well as some strength in depth.
However, as it stands, Rangers can be satisfied heading into the new campaign knowing that, outside of Morelos, they have several capable players when it comes to sticking the ball in the back of the net.