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Jason Cummings fails to take hold of golden opportunity

Rangers striker Jason Cummings has struggled since heading to Ibrox on loan from Nottingham Forest.

Mathew Coull

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Photo: Getty Images

Rangers’ title hopes appeared to be extinguished last week, with their dramatic 3-2 defeat to Old Firm rivals Celtic. Now that has been compounded, with the defeat against Kilmarnock this week. Former Rangers player Kris Boyd scored the winner as Steve Clarke’s men took yet another scalp.

The game represented a chance for striker Jason Cummings. The attacker is currently on loan at Rangers from Nottingham Forest and has found it hard to play regular football. Alfredo Morelos had established himself as the main striker, so Cummings had to get past the Colombian first.

After knuckling down and after an impressive showing against Falkirk recently Cummings got the nod, with Morelos still smarting from his Old Firm open-goal miss.

This was the chance for Cummings to stake his claim to be the number one striker. It was a test he failed to pass.

Throughout much of the game, Cummings seemed to be chasing shadows and could not impose himself on the Kilmarnock defence. Some Rangers fans have suggested in the past that  Cummings might be something of a flat track bully, only punishing the smaller teams but disappearing for the big clashes.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

His performance on this occasion did not help to silence those doubters. Morelos will now likely be reinstalled as the club’s number one striker and Cummings faces an uncertain future.

Nottingham Forest, his parent club, are hardly going to be impressed with Cummings’ performances since heading to Ibrox. Rangers fans are certainly not overly impressed, with just the one goal in the Scottish Premiership. Despite Cummings’ previous good record in Scotland, it looks right now that Rangers would be unlikely to sign him permanently.

The 22-year-old will need to show a marked improvement in his performances if he is to secure himself a permanent switch to Glasgow

Liverpool

Liverpool should turn to Steven Gerrard and Rangers to solve their Rhian Brewster problem

Liverpool are struggling to keep the teenager, but a move to Ibrox would see him work with new Rangers boss and Kop legend in Glasgow.

Mathew Coull

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Liverpool are facing something of a battle to keep hold of their star young striker Rhian Brewster. The young England talent, who was sensational for England’s under-17s in their World Cup triumph last summer, has been heavily linked with a move to German side Borussia Monchengladbach. In fact, the approach from the Bundesliga outfit has been anything but amicable.

Liverpool know they have a top talent in their hands in the form of Brewster, but he obviously fears for his first-team opportunities at Anfield.

What Liverpool need to do is present the young striker with a clear vision for his future and it should involve club legend, Steven Gerrard.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former Liverpool captain has recently taken his first steps into management with Scottish giants Rangers. Now he will be looking to improve his options at Ibrox, as they look to catch Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Brewster has in fact been linked with a move to Gerrard’s Glasgow rivals, but it would be a better move for the teenager to head to Ibrox.

Under the guidance of former Liverpool under-18 boss Gerrard the striker would be more likely to play first-team football.

The deal would offer the talented striker what he wants, regular first-team football. Rangers would be happy with any deal. His arrival would be welcomed and would add some fresh firepower to the attacking ranks at Rangers.

(during the International Friendly match between Sydney FC and Liverpool FC at ANZ Stadium on May 24, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will know he is in the trusted hands of a club legend who will do all he can to ensure Brewster continues to mature, all whilst hopefully improving Rangers’ frontline.

Presenting a full plan for his development would give Brewster the desire he needs to remain at Liverpool. Heading to Ibrox would then be a perfect opportunity for him to start finding the net and adapting to the men’s game.

A Rangers loan switch makes perfect sense for all parties.

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Rangers

Rangers must make a statement and refuse to sell Alfredo Morelos

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Photo: Getty Images.

Steven Gerrard’s appointment at Ibrox was a clear statement of intent from Rangers to challenge Celtic’s domestic domination, but now it’s time for the club to follow it up with another one by refusing to give in to pressure to sell young striker Alfredo Morelos.

Turkish outlet Yeni Akit have reported that Champions League side Besiktas are considering a move for the 21-year-old, who ended the season as Rangers’ top scorer with 18 goals.

What is key to the reports is that they say that the Turkish side are not prepared to try to buy him up-front, as sides from China did earlier on this year, but they want to sign the Colombian on loan with a view to a permanent move if he lives up to expectations.

For Rangers, and for Gerrard, it causes a dilemma. In February, Morelos showed that he was prepared to kick up a fuss, demanding a new pay rise amid interest from China, according to the Daily Mail, and any repeat risks destabilising Gerrard’s reign before it has even begun.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former Liverpool captain lived through similar scenarios with Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez as a player and will find that his new club are in a strong negotiating position given that Morelos got his wish, penning a new three year contract in March.

Morelos is not the ideal striker for Gerrard. There is no denying that Gerrard may wish to look to an experienced partner to help develop his game and fulfill his undoubted potential, cutting out the glaring misses and inconsistencies which see him hit purple patches of form, 14 of his goals coming in two different spells of five and seven games respectively.

That said, Gerrard will see exploiting that potential as one of his biggest challenges and one that he is unlikely to be keen to surrender so early on in his time at the club.

Losing a key man in a deal that has no obvious benefit for the Gers would kill off any optimism surrounding the club following his appointment, whilst the club have the chance to show that they are prepared to gamble on success.

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Rangers

Rangers target Martin Skrtel certainly has a patchy relationship with Brendan Rodgers

Steven Gerrard wants to bring the Slovakian to Ibrox, where he would face off with former boss in Glasgow.

Mathew Coull

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It looks as though new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is already looking at some old pals of his to help improve the playing staff at Ibrox. One name who has been mentioned as potential arrival on more than one occasion this week is centre-back Martin Skrtel.

The Slovakian is said to be a target for Rangers, with the Scottish sun suggesting the £4 million target joins Jermain Defoe and Lucas Leiva in an ambitious transfer wishlist from the Liverpool legend.

Obviously, Rangers fans would love to see all three of these Premier League heroes at Ibrox but even just the arrival of Skrtel would be a huge boost. The bullish defender would go a long way toward improving the defence at Rangers – which has been weak most of the current campaign.

(during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on May 2, 2015 in Liverpool, England.

Of course, if Skrtel were to arrive, he would be going up against his former boss in Glasgow. In fact, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Skrtel have something of a patchy relationship.

In 2013 the Slovakian was quite suddenly dropped by Liverpool, barely getting a kick in the second half of the season. It looked like he was on his way out and he publicly took aim at Rodgers. As quoted by The Telegraph he stated:

“He gave me some explanation (why he was dropped), but it’s hard to tell if it was the true reason he gave me. I don’t think it was and think there is something else behind it…

It all happened after our match with Manchester United in the middle of January,” he said. “We lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. Moreover, a lot of sources gave me a good rating. But he [Rodgers] told me we had lost the organisation of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.

“I don’t know which fixtures he spoke about because we had kept a clean sheet twice in a row and won both matches.”

Celtic boss Rodgers is certainly not a popular man at Ibrox, so such views will no doubt be welcomed by the Rangers fans.

(Photo credit should read PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Problem is, Skrtel changed his tune later on. He fought his way back into the reckoning under Rodgers at Liverpool. The following season was perhaps his best yet in a Liverpool shirt. When asked about Rodgers last year, when Slovakia took on Scotland, he had this to say:

“Brendan is a great manager. I played with him for two to three seasons at Liverpool. I am not surprised he is doing a great job there,” as quoted by The Daily Record (printed edition; 7th October – page 61).

Rangers fans will certainly not disagree that Rodgers has done a great job at their bitter Old Firm rivals.

But if Skrtel arrives the hope will be that the Slovakian puts all past sentiment for his former boss way in the back of his mind.

They want to see the ruthless and brutal Skrtel who first caught the eye in the Premier League at Anfield. If they can get that, then Rangers are on to a winner and Rodgers may wish he was not having so many Glasgow reunions.

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