Glasgow Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has praised Ibrox newcomer Kemar Roofe following his debut for the Light Blues and says it’s just a matter of time before he’s fully match fit and sharp.
The 27-year-old joined Rangers from Anderlecht for a reported £4million fee (Daily Mail), returning to Britain after a year-long stint in Belgium, prior to which he played for Leeds United.
Roofe scored 32 goals in 122 games for Leeds and was highly rated by Marcelo Bielsa, who admitted last August that he couldn’t “be happy” to see the attacker leave (BBC Sport).
At Anderlecht, the forward unfortunately saw his campaign hampered by injury, but still managed a respectable seven goals and three assists in 16 appearances in all competitions.
After missing out on the Rangers matchday squad for the St Mirren clash, Roofe came on as a second-half substitute against St Johnstone.
“Roofe needs minutes,” Gerrard told the Glasgow Times after the game. “I said the other day that he is ten days or a couple of weeks behind the group.
“But he picks up clever positions and gets shots off early. It’s only a matter of time before we see the real Kemar when he is 100 percent fit, sharp and match ready.
“We are pushing him hard in training. He probably did extra in training [on Tuesday] because we knew this would just be a cameo. Thankfully we could get him 30 minutes.
“We have a game behind closed doors next week for the likes of Kemar and we’ll do everything we can to get him up to speed.”
Prior to Wednesday, Roofe hadn’t played a competitive game since December 27 last year when he picked up an injury playing for Anderlecht, so it’s no surprise that he is being eased into Rangers action.
It’s great to hear that he’s being pushed hard in training, and that he’s also doing extra, as well as having a behind-closed-doors game where he can get his match fitness up, and surely he’ll be firing on all cylinders before long.