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Rangers squad review: The defence

A guide for Steven Gerrard about what he needs to do with this squad.

Huge Fire At Recycling Plant In Sherburn-in-Elmet
The Rangers rearguard get ready to defend a corner.
Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

So, the season is over and Rangers once again go into the summer needing a mass squad overhaul. We’ll be looking at each area of the team to see what needs to happen. We kick things off with the collection of men that is our defence.

Bruno Alves

Ah, Bruno, whatever happened? Alves hasn’t been without his moments at Rangers, but it’s clear that it hasn’t worked out anywhere near as well as it might’ve. The big man might be aerially dominant, but for a player of his age he was surprisingly positionally suspect and often lost track of players on the ground. We can do a lot better in his position and with his wages.

Verdict: Sell at any price

Fabio Cardoso

Cardoso looked like a modern defender, and that image seemed to weirdly influence the opinions of him. Cardoso’s problem was never being aerially weak or lacking a battling instinct - he simply wasn’t good enough at defending on the deck. Routinely skinned even by haddies like Conor Sammon and Simon Murray, the young defender has shown nothing to suggest he should be a part of our squad going forward.

Verdict: Sell

Ross McCrorie

Ross McCrorie has been mediocre at best at centre-back, but absolutely superb in defensive midfield. Maybe his time as a centre-back will come, but he should certainly be considered a midfielder from now on apart from in times of dire emergency.

Verdict: Keep, but replace in the defence

James Tavernier

James Tavernier is one player who’s been linked with a move away this summer, and he’s also one who could fetch a seriously large price. Swansea’s relegation means that he’d probably be an ideal player as they seek to finish top of the Championship. He’s had a mixed season, with some troughs in form and some wondrous peaks. A case can certainly be made in both directions, but we would find it almost impossible to replace his attacking prowess and driving runs from deep.

Verdict: Keep unless an astronomical offer comes in

Lee Wallace

Suspended by the club in the wake of a disastrous fall out with Murty after a defeat to Celtic, Wallace had effectively lost his place in the squad to Declan John anyway, and his wages could be used much better elsewhere. He might’ve ‘stayed true’, but let’s be honest - homesickness was the overriding factor in his decision to stick by the club. Thanks for your service, but time to move on.

Verdict: Sell at any price

Declan John

Consistently improving after he initially looked exciting but lightweight and defensively weak. Still needs to get better at stopping crosses coming in but no doubt that he’s good enough to at least be part of the squad.

Verdict: Keep

Lee Hodson

Simply never looked good enough, even as a utility backup option.

Verdict: Sell at any price

Russell Martin

Not our player, but probably available if Steven Gerrard wants to make it happen. Which he shouldn’t, as he was absolutely garbage from start to finish in his spell at the club. A delight that he will never pull on the jersey again.

Verdict: Avoid like the plague

Wes Foderingham

Has been one of our best players since the Dave King revolution, but was pretty average this season. Allan McGregor is a rumoured replacement and if we can get good money for the Englishman it might be worth cashing in.

Verdict: Sell if we get a good offer

Jak Alnwick

Has looked good in some games and suspect in others. May not wish to hang around as a deputy too much longer, while Rangers have young keepers they may look to give the role to.

Verdict: Sell

Liam Kelly

Continues to have excellent seasons with every loan. Could be loaned to the Championship next season but the time could be right to give him the number two role.

Verdict: Keep

Recap:

Sell: Jak Alnwick, Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso, Lee Hodson, Lee Wallace

Sell if a big offer comes in: James Tavernier, Wes Foderingham

Keep: Liam Kelly, Declan John, Ross McCrorie

Shopping list:

One fullback, three centre-backs, one goalkeeper.