By Will Butcher
Mark Warburton needs to make Joe Garner his first-choice striker at Rangers after the summer signing starred against Aberdeen.
The 28-year-old lead the line for the Gers in superb fashion, hassling defenders and providing a defence-splitting pass for Miller to break the deadlock at Ibrox on Saturday, as Warburton’s side won 2-1.
Alongside Michael O’Halloran and Kenny Miller, Garner looked sharp as the Gers secured a priceless three points against the Dons. Here are three reasons why Garner should remain as Rangers attacking spearhead.
Garner’s work ethic as the first line of defence is a trait that endears him to the fans, and gives the Gers a solid outlook from the front.
With the fans’ backing, Garner can excel if given a regular chance by Warburton as he looks to fend off competition from Joe Dodoo and Martyn Waghorn.
Rangers’ number seven could be given a starting berth against Hearts on Saturday, as Warburton’s side look to make it four wins out of five domestic encounters.
Despite only scoring three goals in 17 games for Rangers this season, the £1.5million summer signing knows more than most where the back of the net is.
Before moving north to Glasgow, Garner scored 49 times in 113 league starts for Preston North End as he helped the Lancashire club gain promotion to the Championship.
His eye for goal will prove priceless for Warburton’s side, as they look to become more of an attacking threat after just 21 goals in 16 domestic encounters. Old Firm rivals Celtic have scored 18 more than the Gers, with three games in hand.
Ability to create as well as score
Garner is different to his Rangers attacking teammates in the sense that he can combine both his prolific eye for goal as well as contributing to play.
The Blackburn trainee’s assist on Saturday came from midfield, as he sat deep before supplying veteran Miller with an inch-perfect ball that took multiple opponents out of the game.
With the ability to provide just as much as he can score, Garner should be made Warburton’s preferred centre-forward as the busy Christmas period approaches.
In other Rangers news, former Brentford boss Warburton has given his verdict on Garner.