By Richard Parks
Jamie Redknapp has revealed in the Daily Mail that he expects Steven Gerrard to prioritise strengthening Rangers’ defence following their 10-goal thriller against Hibernian on Sunday.
Rangers ended the season in third following a final day 5-5 league at Ibrox but guaranteed entry into the Europa League qualification phase starting in early July.
Redknapp predicted that his former Liverpool teammate will have his eye on recruiting some youngsters from Anfield in addition to proven Premier League players.
“I can’t wait to see Steven Gerrard in the dugout at Rangers but he is in for a busy summer,” Redknapp wrote in the Mail.
“I’m sure his first priority will be to sort out a defence which let in five goals in Sunday’s 10- goal thriller against Hibs. He’ll have some Liverpool youngsters on his radar but will need a couple of experienced Premier League players, too.”
Football Insider verdict:
Redknapp is spot on when he claims Gerrard must sort out Rangers’ defence. It has been poor and porous for the majority of the campaign, despite the team having two of the finest full-backs in the division in James Tavernier and Declan John. The centre-back position has been an issue all campaign, with Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso, David Bates, Ross McCrorie, loanee Russell Martin and January departee Danny Wilson all having lengthy stints in the team, without ever convincing they’re the answer to the team’s need for a defensive leader. McCrorie appears better suited to the midfield anchorman role, while the others will not be missed if they never play another game for the club. Certainly, recruiting a couple of proven and solid centre-backs must be a priority and, while Gerrard will have a decent budget to work with by Scottish standards, he must avoid bringing in over-the-hill Premier League men. The league is tougher than many think, and those past it will be found out.