By support

25th Dec, 2016 | 4:22pm

Derek Johnstone: Rangers need reinforcements in this area next month

By Amir Mir

Derek Johnstone believes Rangers need to add reinforcements in midfield when the January transfer window opens next month.

Mark Warburton’s side have lost experienced duo Nico Kranjcar and Joey Barton through injury and the termination of their contract respectively.

Both were summer signings, but it has now left a big gap in the middle of the park for the Ibrox manager.

As a result, former Gers player Johnstone believes Warburton must add quality to his squad as he delivered his verdict on Spanish midfielder Jota.

“There is no point bringing in someone that doesn’t offer you anything different and there is no doubt that Rangers need another option in the middle of the park,” Johnstone wrote in his Evening Times column.

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“Jota is one of a number of players that Mark has been linked with and is someone that he knows well from his time at Brentford. I have never seen him play but I have read a lot about him and his former team-mates have spoken very highly of him in terms of his ability and what he could bring to the side.

“We have heard it before when potential targets have been talked up and then they get here and they can’t handle being a Rangers player.

“But Rangers do need someone in midfield with a bit of guile, someone that has got an eye for a pass and that can create chances and get a few goals themselves. If Mark feels that Jota is that player and he can get a deal done to bring him to the club then great. If it is not him, then we will see who does come in.”

Following promotion from the Scottish Championship last season, Warburton has guided his side to second in the SPL table.

They are a mammoth 14 points behind rivals Celtic in the table, with Brendan Rodgers side also having a game in hand.

However, the Ibrox club have a seven-point lead over third-placed Aberdeen, after Rangers defeated Inverness 1-0 on Saturday.

But, they have suffered two defeats to their Old Firm rivals this season, once in the SPL in September and then during the League Cup semi-final.

The duo will meet once again on New Year’s Eve at Ibrox with Warburton’s side hoping to gain revenge for the two crushing defeats this season.

But before that, they must take on St Johnstone on Wednesday evening looking to record their fifth straight Premiership win.

In other Rangers news, Mark Warburton is hoping this player has not suffered a serious injury ahead of Celtic showdown.