With the deal seemingly all but confirmed, the signing of Dujon Sterling could be a master stroke from Michael Beale. The biggest issue Rangers had at the start of the season was injuries. Looking back now, another issue was the lack of versatility within the team. Most players at Rangers are only capable of playing one position, some can play two at a push. This had a massive impact on player usage at the beginning of this season as multiple players couldn’t fill in the gaps made by injuries due to their lack of adaptability.
This also causes issues in attack. Throughout the season Rangers haven’t being fluid going forward and it’s been easy to predict the next move which causes many attacks to break down. This could be due to the fact the players in attack don’t switch positions and tend to stick to the area of the pitch they start in.
You only need to look at a team like Manchester City and how they attack teams. Players move all over the place, swap positions and make creative runs. They overload and it’s difficult to stop.
Contrast that to Rangers attacking play, the wingers stay wide and the striker normally has their back to goal. There’s no cutting edge, nothing creative or different from the forwards. Rangers are now pretty much reliant on Todd Cantwell creating from midfield or creating chances from the full backs getting the ball into the box.
The forward play has been turgid at times and having versatile forwards who can play across the front line could remedy this. It’s much more difficult to defend an opponent when you don’t know what their next move is but that’s not something many opposition defenders have had to worry about against Rangers. The club needs fresh ideas up top and adding players who will move and switch positions could be the start of some more exciting, attacking football.
Signing players who can cover a variety of positions also allows the manager to make easier in game changes. That extra adaptability allows a manager to change the formation without having to use up a substitution. It’s been key in Man City’s performances recently and they’re probably the most exciting side to watch in world football currently.
Adding ‘hybrid players’ also allows more cover for injuries without having to sign an extra player per position. It’s crucial in modern day football and something Michael Beale has mentioned in press conferences.
He’s claimed to be interested in signing players who can cover various roles. Sterling seems like a really encouraging start to this as he can play all across the back four and even as a wingback on either side.
Versatility is needed this summer and if Sterling is just the start, it’s a very exciting sign going forward.