- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Rangers skipper Lee Wallace is being plagued by his knee injury having missed large chunks of last season. The former Hearts left-back was replaced towards the back end of last season by youngster Myles Beerman who performed well, though it seems Pedro Caixinha is more reluctant this time to trust the former Man City man.
Wallace was injured during Rangers’ 2-2 draw at Partick Thistle recently and was directly replaced by Declan John, their loan signing from Cardiff City in the summer. To make matters worse, John then got injured in the same game, creating a real problem for the Portuguese boss.
The 22-year old John missed the game against Celtic after that, but was back in the side for Rangers’ thumping 4-1 win at Hamilton Academical and in fact scored twice to add to the assist he got at Partick. His forward runs have been very impressive and as long as he is fit, he should be the man to step into Wallace’s shoes.
It has to be said that I, along with most Rangers fans I’m sure, was underwhelmed with the signing of John in the summer transfer window. True, the English Championship is a level above the Scottish Premiership these days, but for a player deemed not good enough for Cardiff to be signed by Rangers would have been unthinkable in times gone by.
Since being given his chance by Caixinha after Wallace’s pull-up, John has been excellent and is certainly proving a few people wrong perhaps even including Neil Warnock down at Cardiff.
For whatever strange reason, Wales have been producing good left-sided players like there’s no tomorrow, in recent years. Gareth Bale started out as a left-back, while both Neil Taylor and Ben Davies have fought it out for the left-back spot in the national team too.
The presence of these players means that Premier League regular Paul Dummett of Newcastle can’t get into the Wales side, giving them an embarrassment of riches in this position.
So while it’s true that Declan John couldn’t get into the Cardiff team on merit at the start of this season due to the presence of Joe Bennett, the side from the Welsh capital look strong now and are leading the charge of Championship sides looking to get into the Premier League.
This, along with the Welsh national position, perhaps show John in a much better light and it may well be that Rangers have in fact got a proper diamond on their hands.