By support

Why Rangers should avoid permanent deal for 22-year-old as crocked star eyes return

COMMENT By Will Butcher

Pedro Caixinha should avoid blowing a large chunk of his Rangers transfer budget on current loanee Jon Toral in the summer, as Niko Kranjcar nears a return from injury.

Toral, 22, has performed admirably without excelling, since he agreed a loan move from Premier League giants Arsenal in the January transfer window.

With plenty of years left in his career, Toral is likely to cost the 54-time Scottish champions a hefty percentage of their summer war chest if a permanent deal is arranged.

But with the impending return of playmaker Kranjcar in the summer from a long-term knee injury, Caixinha would be well advised to spend his money on improving other areas of the side.

Croatia international Kranjcar has failed to feature for the Gers since October 14 after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament on the training ground at Auchenhowie.

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The 32-year-old told Rangers TV, as quoted by Sky Sports, that his aim is to return to full fitness ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

“Touch wood, come May, hopefully I can join in with the lads and do a full session but the goal is to be fit for next season,” Kranjcar said.

That would give manager Caixinha plenty of options in midfield, with Josh Windass, Jason Holt, Andy Halliday and Kranjcar all to choose from.

Toral’s steady form should see him overlooked for a permanent deal then, with the money better spent on bringing USA international Emerson Hydnman to Ibrox permanently.

The Bournemouth loanee has outshone his teammate so far after both joined on loan in January, having a hand in seven goals from just 11 games. Scoring four times, the former Fulham ace has also provided three assists.

Compare that to Toral – the Spaniard has scored only once in nine games, which has seen him start from the bench behind Hyndman on occasion.

Caixinha, then, should wave goodbye to Toral in the summer but do his utmost to keep Hyndman in an attempt to form a strong midfield partnership between him and Kranjcar.

In other Rangers transfer news, here are three strikers that the Gers could sign to replace striker Martyn Waghorn.

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