Rangers face nine games between now and January 2 in what is the busiest spell in the calendar and the Ibrox side have the chance to secure progression to the knockout stages of the Europa League along with winning the League Cup during that run.
This should be more than enough incentive for Philippe Clement’s men to push as hard as they can until the winter break and bring some more silverware to Ibrox.
The squad doesn’t appear to be at the required level for Clement and with the January transfer window just around the corner, there will surely be another new face or two arriving in Glasgow.
It looks as though the Gers have been busy prior to the winter window opening, however, as the club recently announced Nils Koppen as their new Director of Football Recruitment, and he won’t have long to get stuck in about improving the squad.
He won’t arrive at the Gers until the beginning of January, but he will already be planning ahead to improve the player trading model along with making sure the first-team squad is as good as it can be.
While Clement will have his own transfer targets, could the Light Blues perhaps return for a player that they had shown interest in during the summer transfer window? Indeed, Harry Souttar would be an ideal signing for the club.
Harry Souttar to Rangers
During the final few weeks of the summer transfer window, Michael Beale was intensifying his search for a new defender and journalist Geoff Peters claimed that the Gers were reportedly keen on signing Souttar.
He said: “Rangers are interested in taking Harry Souttar on loan from Leicester City. Souttar was an unused sub against Coventry at the weekend and not in the 20-man #lcfc squad tonight at Burton. Other clubs also monitoring the situation. His older brother John joined Rangers last year.”
While it was mooted that it would be a temporary deal rather than a permanent one, a potential move for the £41k-per-week centre-back failed to materialise.
This meant the former QPR manager went into the season having signed just one central defender during the transfer window in Leon Balogun.
With a new director being announced, could the Light Blues perhaps take another look at Souttar and his situation concerning a potential swoop?
Harry Souttar’s season in numbers
The Australian defender moved to Leicester City in January this year in a deal which could rise to £20m. Initially, he enjoyed a solid start to life at the club.
He had a productive World Cup just a few months prior to his big-money move to the Premier League, starting all four of Australia’s matches, and he was even lauded an “absolute beast” by journalist Sacha Pisani for his performances.
During his brief spell in the English top flight, Souttar won a staggering 86% of his aerial duels while also making 3.8 clearances and 1.3 tackles per game for the Foxes as they were relegated back to the Championship after a nine-year spell in the Premier League.
Despite these solid displays, he has been frozen out of the team during the 2023/24 season, making just one appearance in the second tier, and that was back in October.
Leicester managed to keep a clean sheet during this one game and Souttar won 100% of his total duels along with holding an 88% pass success rate and taking 92 touches during the match.
A solid display, especially considering he had been overlooked for every league match prior and this could work in the Gers favour.
It looks as though he doesn’t have the brightest of futures at the club under manager Enzo Maresca and it could be a good idea for Koppen to pay some attention to whether or not he could become available in the coming weeks.
Clement needs some improvement to his defensive options and the former Stoke City titan could become an ideal acquisition, in the process potentially becoming Connor Goldson 2.0.
Connor Goldson’s statistics at Rangers
The Englishman joined the Light Blues in the summer of 2018 as Steven Gerrard was aiming to bolster his squad ahead of challenging Celtic for domestic superiority.
Comfortable on the ball and strong in physical battles, he was the ideal choice of centre-back for the Liverpool icon and fast-forward over five years later, Goldson is still a mainstay at the club.
Since making his debut in July 2018, the centre-back has racked up 285 appearances for the Glasgow side while chipping in with 23 goals and 14 assists during that time, not a bad return for a defender, that’s for sure.
The Englishman has won a league title and Scottish Cup while helping the side reach the Europa League final in 2022, although he couldn’t prevent them from losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.
This season, Goldson has missed just one Premiership match and has proven how good he is with one-on-one battles, winning 70% of his total duels – which works out as 5.5 per game – and Souttar certainly has a similar style to Goldson, notably in the air.
Additionally, he would also be making the move from an English side, as Goldson joined the club from Brighton and Hove Albion, and he is Clement’s finest defender without a shadow of a doubt.
The problem is, who is the best choice of partner for him? Leon Balogun will likely be leaving the club next summer, while John Souttar (Harry’s brother) struggles with injury issues and can’t be relied on for a whole season.
Koppen could land first blinder in Rangers swoop for £4.3m Dowell upgrade
The new director of football recruitment is due to join the club next month.
Ben Davies has played infrequently this term and was close to joining Stoke City during the last few days of the summer transfer window, and it appears his future lies away from Ibrox.
With all this in mind, Clement and Koppen may decide that reigniting a swoop for the player might well be in the best interests of the club as they seek improvement.
Even on a temporary basis, Souttar would still add something different to the squad, and he could form a solid partnership alongside Goldson during the second half of the season.