Rangers boss Steven Gerrard sent Celtic transfer message over two Ibrox targets | Football | Sport
That’s the view of former Rangers defender David Weir.
The Light Blues boss is keen to recruit Oldham defender George Edmundson in a deal which could cost him £600,000, while Charlton Athletic’s Joe Aribo is also on the Liverpudlian’s wish-list.
Gerrard has already secured pre-contract deals for Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie, while Greg Stewart is joining on a free transfer. Steven Davis’ loan will also be made permanent for nothing.
And following on from his first season at Ibrox, which was promising overall but ended without silverware and with Rangers nine points behind Celtic in the Premiership title race, Gerrard is keen for further strengthening.
Aribo is another soon-to-be free agent with the 22-year-old coming off a season where he managed nine goals and five assists for Charlton as they were promoted back to the Championship via the playoffs.
Rangers have seen Oldham agree a fee with Portsmouth for Edmundson recently with the 21-year-old defender having been the subject of two rejected bids from the Gers, although they may look to match Pompey’s £600,000 offer with the player reportedly keen to play under Gerrard.
Anderlecht’s James Lawrence is a potential alternative with the £3million-rated Welsh international admired by the Rangers manager as he seeks another player to rival Nikola Katic for the spot alongside Connor Goldson in central defence.
But Weir, asked about the duo of Edmundson and Aribo, wants to see Gerrard look for more experienced talents as they look to stop arch rivals Celtic from sealing a ninth straight title and moving one away from the unprecedented feat of winning 10-in-a-row.
He told the Daily Record: “I know a little bit about them and I have watched a lot of games in England and all over the place.
“You can see from the profile of the players the ones they are going for. They are younger, more up and coming and there is value in them.
“But the ones that are going to change their team are the ones they really need. They need ones to make them significantly better because they have got a good solid base.
“It’s a massive step up from Oldham to Rangers, there is no doubt about that. People underestimate Scottish football and look at some of the games and say maybe the quality isn’t there.
“But the intensity, the physicality of the game up here is really difficult and a lot of players have come here and really struggled.
“I have watched a lot of English football at League One, Championship, Premier League and League Two and Scottish football rates, I don’t care what anyone says, in terms of being a difficult league.
“Steven Gerrard was right to say he doesn’t have a magic wand… but you also need a magic wand! That’s the reality, you need to be lucky and if you’re not getting backed then it’s really difficult.
“You need to spend more, be creative, get loans or sell someone to fund bringing players in. It’s about what Rangers’ business model is because fans are demanding title number 55.
“How are they going to provide it? That’s what they want and that’s why 50,000 turn up every week. There’s not many clubs around the world where that’s exepcted but at Rangers and Celtic it is.
“You can try and deny it, but the pressure is increased with Celtic going for nine in a row and it was the same when the shoe was on the other foot.
“The fans want to get one over on each other and there’s no better time to do it than when one is going for nine or 10.
“It’s getting closer and Rangers have to do something about it. Fans don’t care about the budgets. I obviously refer to my time and we were bringing in players on free transfers and some who were struggling to get in their teams.
“You’re bringing them up and you’re expected to compete as Rangers in the top flight but people don’t care about the back story – they just care about the result on the Saturday, what they’re reading on Sunday and the where they are in the league table.
“That’s the reality – it’s about winning. We all know that, it’s just that sometimes it’s not easy to do it. It’s frustrating but nobody cares.
“You’ve got to bridge that gap somehow and it’s happened in the past. Teams with lesser budgets and lesser quality have done it but you need a bit of luck and backing.”