The Rangers transfer verdict Steven Gerrard must get right to fix the numbers that don’t add up

A cursory glance at last season’s Premiership table serves as a stark reminder of where Rangers need to improve.
With the Ibrox club having played 29 games and their rivals Celtic a game more, both conceded just 19 goals.
When Steven Gerrard factors in a number of daft individual errors he will probably assess the problems as being elsewhere and the attacking figures would back that up.
While Celtic scored 2.96 times per game, Rangers were way behind at 2.20 and the goals really dried up after the winter break.
Both sides’ central striker outputs are reasonably similar with the key difference coming in wide areas.
While James Forrest’s clocked some phenomenal numbers, scoring ten and assisting 17 in 28 matches, Rangers’ best winger Ryan Kent scored seven in 21 but failed to create a single goal in the league.
If Steven Gerrard’s men are to offer a genuine threat of stopping the 10 In A Row juggernaut they will need to reorganise and improve their attacking options.
Record Sport looks at who will stay and who will go as the manager searches for stars that can improve the squad.
The Colombian has his ups and downs but you’d rather have him than not. When he’s on form and focused he’s as good as anything in the league and it seems fanciful that Ross Wilson would be able to replace a player of his quality on the Ibrox club’s current budget. If an offer does come in, Morelos’ temperament and discipline makes it likely that the club would consider it but make no bones about it – he’d be a big loss.
At 37, he’s no spring chicken but he offered plenty of evidence last term that there is still gas in the tank. Rangers have to get smarter about changing their style when the veteran plays to get the best out of him, but with his finishing as sharp as ever you’d fancy him to grab 15 goals again next term even as a squad option.
The jet-heeled winger showed in Gerrard’s first season he was a youngster with real talent and his explosive pace is a significant asset. Middleton needs experience so it’s disappointing that loan moves to both Hibs and Bradford City have failed to yield the intended outcome. You get the impression this turn of events may not impress his manager who doesn’t seem a man to have inexhaustible patience for excuses. If Middleton is to stay, the next move is crucial.
The deal to grab one of Scotland’s most talented young attackers seemed a no-brainer at this time last year but he didn’t appear to be ready and was quickly sent out on loan to Rotherham. He started in League One in England with a flurry of goals but dropped out of contention after 14 appearances and returned to Ibrox in January. At 22, he needs to be playing every week and he’s shown nothing to suggest he can make the grade under Gerrard.
A player of considerable talent who was once one of the jewels of Manchester City’s youth academy, he is said to be highly thought of within the management team. He has shown he’s capable of tactical discipline as he performed well in the Europa League against Porto over two games but he hasn’t shown his attacking capabilities during his time in Glasgow and has a long way to go to win over a doubtful fanbase.
Jones adapted reasonably well to life in Govan with some solid performances, particularly in Europe. He was a regular feature until he lost the plot in the first Celtic game of the season and was sent off for a challenge best described as misguided. Gerrard made his dissatisfaction plain at the time saying: “He deserves the red card and he deserves his ban and he’s got everything to do now to get back in my team.” The manager has been as good as his word and the former Kilmarnock flyer has struggled since his return from the injury he sustained in the Ibrox lunge.
It’s obvious Kent is a player of genuine talent. Easy on the eye, skillful and hard working, the Oldham-born star has everything you need to play at the top level. In the big games he comes alive but rather than speaking to attitude, there’s a case that his form dips against lesser sides are about space. Kent’s game is about getting in behind defences and doing damage but it’s very difficult to do that against teams camping in their own box. The Englishman must find a way to be a more effective presence against the lower lights but if he can pull it all together, Gerrard will have a serious force on his hands.
Signed for £3m from Genk in the summer, Hagi will be a key player and can operate across the midfield and attack. An intelligent football player on and off the pitch, you’d fancy him to adapt to the rigours of Scottish football and better his impressive loan spell this term and perhaps he will get the chance to flourish in a more natural position just behind a main striker.
Stewart isn’t a flashy member of the squad but he did enough during his appearances last term to suggest he’s a useful option. Not everybody is happy as a squad player but Stewart will knuckle down and fight for his place at the club he supported as a boy. He can play in a number of positions and gives Gerrard depth that will be needed over a relentless schedule of European and domestic games.