3 minute read
16/2/2022 | 08:25am
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst could be set for a major shake-up in the centre-back department at the end of the season.
John Souttar has agreed to join Ibrox from Hearts on a free transfer, whilst Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun are both out of contract – with the Gers holding an option to extend the latter’s by a further 12 months.
This means that there could be incomings and outgoings in that area of the pitch, with a new first-choice central defensive pairing in the offing for the 2022/23 campaign.
Will Goldson leave in the summer?
Souttar’s form for Hearts this season suggests that he could come in and be the number one option at the back for van Bronckhorst. He has averaged a sublime SofaScore rating of 7.38 for Hearts, which is higher than any score a Rangers centre-back has managed this term.
Therefore, the Dutch head coach may be considering who he will go with to partner him at Ibrox next season. If Goldson and Balogun both depart from Glasgow, it could leave Ross Wilson wanting to dip back into the transfer market to bring another option in.
However, he should avoid doing that as van Bronckhorst can save him millions in the window by unleashing Filip Helander.
Whilst Calvin Bassey has played alongside Goldson of late and could be the frontrunner for the slot next to Souttar, the Swedish international could be the better option out of the two.
The 28-year-old, who was dubbed a “leader” by ex-Gers boss Steven Gerrard, has been restricted to three Premiership appearances due to injury.
Last season, however, he showed what he is capable of in the Scottish top-flight as he averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.10.
Helander is a defensive machine as he won an outstanding 68% of his individual duels in the title-winning campaign, showing that he is physically dominant on the pitch. The Gers kept 13 clean sheets in his 21 starts, whilst the £14k-per-week gem made 2.4 tackles and interceptions per game.
Bassey, meanwhile, has averaged a score of 6.95 in the Premiership this term and managed a rating of 6.85 in the previous season. He has won 62% of his individual duels in the current campaign and, whilst these are still solid statistics, this shows that Helander may be the superior player out of the two centre-backs.
Therefore, van Bronckhorst must forget about Bassey or signing a new player and, instead, view Helander as a first-choice option at centre-back if Goldson and Balogon depart.
He will have the opportunity to see him in action first-hand in the coming weeks after the gem made his return from injury against Annan Athletic.
AND in other news, Rangers handed big relief as major UEL injury news emerges that’ll delight fans…