Players like Ibrahim Sangare don’t grow on trees, however, if Michael Beale makes one more signing this summer, Rangers draw against PSV showed that Paul Akouokou should be near the top of the shopping list.
The biggest difference between the two sides at Ibrox was the Ivory Coast international dictating play in the middle of the park.
Rangers struggled to keep the ball for sustained periods and much of this was down to not having a midfielder like Paul Akouokou to control the tempo.
Ryan Jack and John Lundstram are good players in that they will work hard, cover full-backs and attempt to stop attacks, however, they don’t have the ability in possession that is needed for such a key role.
They can’t evade pressure like Glen Kamara or burst past a press like Nicolas Raskin and Rangers could do a lot worse than targeting Paul Akouokou who was linked with a move only last summer.
Why Rangers should target Paul Akouokou
Spanish media outlet AS were the first to break the news and, with just a year left on his contract at Real Betis, Sangare’s international teammate wouldn’t be expensive.
A £2m fee was said to be the valuation previously and this number could be even lower now.
Jose Cifuentes is a number eight, Raskin is the same, although domestically he could play deeper.
Despite his critical error for Rangers first goal, Sangare showed what qualities are needed for the central or defensive midfield role.
On the European stage it has to be more than just destroying.
Ideally, with Raskin and Cifuentes either side, a peak Steven Davis would have been perfect but, at 39-years old in January and with a reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament, that ship has sailed.
Sangare has a £32m release clause which looks likely to be triggered by a host of European super powers, but Rangers could sign their own version in Paul Akouokou for a fraction of the price.