Derek Johnstone: I wouldn't be surprised if 26-year-old Rangers first teamer left this summer
By Harvey Byrne
Rangers great Derek Johnstone has stated he would not be surprised to see defender Rob Kiernan join Clint Hill and Philippe Senderos through the Ibrox exit doors this summer.
The 26-year-old Irishman has started just one league match since manager Pedro Caixinha’s appointment in March due to a suspension falling alongside a calf injury for the centre-back.
He was a frequent part of the Ibrox giants’ first team under previous boss Mark Warburton and caretaker Graeme Murty and he started in 23 of the 27 top-flight matches under the duo.
However, ex-striker Johnstone believes Kiernan is in danger of being let go this summer as Caixinha plans to strengthen his team.
“Clint has done a job for Rangers and he deserves a pat on the back. I am sure the fans will wish him well for the future,” wrote Johnstone in his column for the Evening Times.
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“He will be disappointed that he won’t be getting a new contract but he has shown this season that he can still perform, he has a lot of experience and he has something to offer to a club. Hopefully he gets another deal to keep playing next season.
“It is never easy for a manager to tell players they are not needed but Pedro has decided to let him go at the end of the season.
“Philippe Senderos is coming to the end of his time at the club as well. He made his debut in the Old Firm game at Parkhead and was poor and then he never really got into the team for a run of games to show what he can do.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob Kiernan also left, but the manager likes Danny Wilson and he will be part of the squad next season.
“As Sir Alex Ferguson used to say, you need to have four centre-halves and four centre-forwards in your squad. You will get suspensions and injuries and you need cover through the spine of your team.
“There will be central defenders arriving at Ibrox this summer and that is certainly an area of the side that needs addressing.”
Kiernan is entering his second year at Rangers after joining from recently relegated Championship side Wigan in the summer of 2015.
He has since played in 76 matches for the club and he played an important role in getting the famous side promoted back to the Scottish top-flight.
However, with his contract entering it’s final year this month, Johnstone’s prediction could prove to become true.
The Gers are also likely to be playing in next season’s Europa League, meaning Caixinha will be looking to bolster his squad for players who he feels can play in Europe and the domestic competitions.
In other Rangers news, the Gers have been installed as favourites to sign 23-goal top-flight striker.