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Despite leaving under an apparent cloud in 2012, Steven Naismith is essentially a Rangers boy and knows the club inside-out, having played 136 games for the club under the genial Walter Smith and hugely motivational Ally McCoist.
The club needs a transformation from top to bottom to be able to compete with Celtic and reinforce their status as the most successful club in Scotland. Defenders were needed and have been provided, though an ambitious club will look to add goals to their squad and that’s where the former Kilmarnock man comes in.
Steven Naismith is a name being seriously linked with the club and just as is the case with Graham Dorrans, Naismith would be a major step forward for the Gers. His overall ability is the first and the 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 a part of a successful forward partnership with Kenny Miller back then too and that partnership could be rekindled, now that the former Hibs and Celtic man is also back at the club and performing well.
Naismith was renowned for his charity work in Glasgow. Because of injuries keeping him out of the side during his first spell with the club, Naismith decided that rather than sit around, he would help out, and sponsored hundreds of meals for the city’s homeless people. A return full time to Glasgow would sit very well with him and his family, meaning no settling-in period, which, for a new signing, is a huge bonus.
On-the-field is the major issue though and it’s clear that, to put it in the simplest way possible, Steven Naismith is way better than anything else Rangers have in their forward line right now. 7 goals from 32 appearances for Norwich last season shows that he still retains his ability. Aside from Wes Hoolahan, Naismith was 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 was 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 for Rangers this summer.