Talk continues to intensify over a potential Ibrox move for Aberdeen’s Ryan Jack, with Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha keen to add the talismanic midfielder to his ranks.
While Euro 2016 winner and former Fenerbahce ace Bruno Alves – whose signing was confirmed earlier today – may be the most high-profile name the Gers add this summer, snapping up Jack would be an even bigger boost to their hopes next term.
He’s a natural leader and organiser
While a third-placed finish on their return to the top-flight wasn’t a bad outcome for Rangers, the squad of experienced, talented individual players accrued by Mark Warburton lacked a leader and focal point on the pitch.
That lack of a talisman meant they struggled to bounce back and regain confidence after difficult results. A late 2-1 home loss to Celtic was followed by a run of just four points from five league games, including a 4-1 demolition by Heart of Midlothian and defeat at the hands of eventual bottom club Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Jack would be an obvious solution to that problem. Captain of Aberdeen since the start of the 2015-16 season, the 25-year-old offers a composed, disciplined presence for the Dons.
Want proof of that? In the 26 league games where he featured last season, Aberdeen didn’t drop a single point from winning positions, en route to 16 victories.
He knows this league inside out
While signings like Alves offer plenty of experience on the continental stage, there’s no doubt the Portuguese defender – or any new arrival in Scottish football – will take a little time to adapt to the physicality and style of the game.
That wouldn’t be an issue for Jack, who’d be ready to hit the ground running. At 25, he’s already played 199 times in the Ladbrokes Premiership, and featured in three major domestic finals – tasting both victory and defeat in the process.
Skilful, robust and effortlessly assured, he’s proven himself as one of the league’s top performers in recent seasons. As far as signings go, he’d be virtually risk-free for Rangers. And speaking of ‘free’…
He’s a fantastic freebie…but they must act quickly
With the Reds’ ace’s contract at Pittodrie about to end, Caixinha can – if he convinces Jack to join the Gers – add a top talent to his squad for free.
But with the Gers’ unlikely to be the only club interested in acquiring Jack’s services, acting quickly and getting the deal done as soon as possible is surely the ideal situation for the Ibrox club in what could become a free-for-all.
Add to that the fact they’ll be playing Europa League Qualifying fixtures less than a month from now, and having key new additions on board by that point could make all the difference.
So, will Rangers get this much-discussed deal over the line in the coming days? We wait to see…
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing