This summers transfer window will include a huge refresh of the Rangers playing squad, which is much needed, but that may present an issue going forward. Champions League registration rules state that clubs must have at least eight homegrown players, four of which must be club trained, included in the 25 man squad. With Allan McGregor looking likely to leave this summer that leaves Rangers with no regular first team player who was trained at the club. Other homegrown players such as Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack’s contracts are also expiring this summer, again lessening the amount of homegrown first team players in the squad.
If all three leave upon the expiry of their contract, the list Rangers will have of homegrown players is;
- Robby McRorie – Club Trained
- Leon King – Club Trained
- Adam Devine – Club Trained
- Alex Lowry – Club Trained
- John Souttar – Nation Trained
- Scott Wright – Nation Trained
As you can see, from this list Rangers can’t even meet the minimum quota with the current squad. It’s also concerning that only Leon King has had regular minutes of the club trained players and even at that, he hasn’t played a first team minute since Michael Beale’s arrival. This is a major concern and shows a lack of domestic player bias within the current Rangers team.
There is a real snobbery currently when it comes to Rangers targeting Scottish based players as many fans don’t see any other players in the league as good enough and would rather go elsewhere for their targets. This may be a necessity in the summer though as to meet the Champions League quota Rangers will either need to keep some of the out of contract players or target players currently playing in the SPFL.
Ryan Jack is likely to get a new contract due to recent performances, Scott Arfield hasn’t had many minutes though so it seems less likely he will get a renewal. This still leaves Rangers lacking one nation trained position within the squad, there were rumours that Rangers had enquired about Lawrence Shankland but the club have since refuted this rumour.
Players like him may need to be an option though, not many players from the B team have seen any minutes on the pitch/bench since Beale’s arrival, apart from Bailey Rice when he made his debut against Livingston but it remains to be seen if he’s ready to be included more in the first team and registered to a Champions League squad. So a Scottish player or two may need to be a priority in this summer transfer window, there are a couple of players performing well at their clubs and a few who look like they have decent potential.
Rangers currently lack a strong homegrown core in the team, with few youngsters getting regular first team minutes currently. Michael Beale now has to make a decision, does he start giving young players at the club more minutes or does he dive into the SPFL market and get some players who are trained in the nation already?
Massive summer ahead and this is just one of the many cogs that the manager has to deal with. What would you do, bring through more club trained players for the future or go in for nation trained players who are currently more ready?