With the 2019/20 SPL season being brought to a premature end and Celtic being crowned champions for the ninth consecutive campaign as predicted by www.bettingsites24.com, thoughts are already turning to next season, even though it is still unclear as to when it would start. Rangers have been quick off the blocks in looking to restructure their squad, announcing three first-team departures upon expiry of their contracts. However, this move means that the Glasgow club will definitely be in the market for a left-back in the summer, being left with just one senior option in the first-team squad.
Of the three players who will leave Ibrox in the summer according to the best betting sites 2020, two were used quite a bit at left-back this season. Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham will leave, which creates a hole in the squad as there is only 23-year-old Adam Firth as backup to the 38-year-old Allan McGregor in goal. However, while the goalkeeping spots may also need beefing up, the need is arguably greater at left-back, with Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday being the other two players whose contracts are not being renewed. Rangers had started the season with only Borna Barisic as a recognised left-back, and in his absence, manager Steven Gerrard had often turned to right-back Flanagan, or central midfielder Halliday, to fill that position. This was always going to be a stop-gap approach, and with both players now on their way in the summer, the club certainly need to bring in a recognized left-back to offer backup and competition to Barisic for next season and beyond. Thus, there are a couple of players who should be on the radar for Gerrard for filling this position –
The Leeds United left-back is no longer first-choice at the club, and in fact has fallen quite far down the pecking order. He has enough experience in the Championship to be able to cope with the Scottish Premiership, while he will provide defensive cover while also bombing forwards in attack. Given his situation at Elland Road, he would be an inexpensive transfer as well, with Leeds unlikely to ask for a significant fee. Crucially, this move already seems to have a lot of support, with former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips having recently urged Douglas to make the switch up north in a recent interview.
Hickey would be at the opposite end of the spectrum from Douglas, as a 17-year-old defender just starting his career. However, he had been sensational in the Scottish top-flight for Hearts this season, belying his age to provide some superb displays down the left, which has also led to speculation about a move to the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and the Gers’ great rivals Celtic, over the past few weeks. While it is unlikely that Hickey would move abroad at such a young age, Gerrard will probably need to move quickly if he wants to snap up this youngster, who has the potential to be a mainstay of the Rangers backline for years to come. It will be interesting to see if Rangers do get into a bidding war with Celtic for Hickey, and any such outcome would be the best possible scenario for Hearts, who are probably resigned to losing him in the summer.