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It’s been a long time since Rangers could call on the guaranteed goals of a Michael Mols or an Ally McCoist (to name but two) and in fact these days things have fallen so far from that level as to be unrecognisable.
Joe Garner is a lower division player in England frankly and has not cut it out at Rangers, despite a cult following, while Martyn Waghorn seems to have regressed. The bulk of the goal scoring then has been left to veteran forward Kenny Miller and, while he has done an admirable job, he will not be around forever and won’t fire Rangers to a title these days.
Who could Rangers realistically expect to sign in the summer to alleviate this problem? Maybe a ‘marquee’ signing – a familiar face at that – plus a loan move for a hot young talent might just do the job for the Gers. Here we look at two such players in question:
Naismith would be a major step forward for the Gers. His overall ability is the first and most obvious thing to point to; Naismith has played over 100 games in the Premier League in England for Everton and Norwich City and belongs at that level of football for sure.
He also has a big history at this club. After signing from Kilmarnock in 2007, Naismith went on to make 136 appearances for Rangers, scoring 33 goals in the process. He was part of a successful forward partnership with Kenny Miller back then and that partnership could be rekindled.
To put it in the simplest way possible, Steven Naismith is way better than anything else Rangers have in their forward line right now. 5 goals and 3 assists for Norwich from just 9 starts this season shows that he retains his ability. Aside from Wes Hoolahan, Naismith is fouled more than any other player at Norwich in a typical game which is a testament to his ball retention skills.
Being fouled as often as he is in the English Championship is a clear pointer as to what will happen if he comes back to the Scottish Premiership. Defenders will not be able to cope with him and he will either be winning free-kicks and penalties or be creating goal scoring chances. He is a must-have signing this summer for Rangers.
The Newcastle man has not had the best of seasons on loan at Barnsley, but his progress before that was outstanding and unfettered. He has been chosen once again to represent England under-20’s this summer and so is still seen as a top prospect by his country. Armstrong appears to need a confidence boost right now and Rangers need a goal scorer. Sending him to Ibrox could kill two birds with one stone as the young man would run riot against most of the opposition in the Scottish Premiership.