Rangers boss Philippe Clement could turn to the January transfer window to improve his squad.
Glasgow Rangers have already shown major signs of improvement since Philippe Clement was appointed manager of the Ibrox side just a few weeks ago.
He led the team to a comfortable 4-0 win against Hibernian in the Premiership last week, while emerging from Prague with a well-deserved point in the Europa League group stages.
Sparta Prague were by far the better side during the midweek clash, yet the Light Blues prevented them from scoring and could even have scored the winner towards the end of the game, with Danilo smashing an effort off the crossbar.
Progress has been made and Clement faces another test against Hearts on Sunday afternoon, with another win building up momentum in the league.
The Belgian will need to work with the squad he inherited from Michael Beale and it’s fair to say that some of the summer arrivals have not worked out as planned.
Sam Lammers has so far netted just once – against Livingston in August – and considering the Gers paid £3m to secure his services, it is a woeful return.
Cyriel Dessers is another attacking player who promised so much upon his arrival in Glasgow, yet has failed to live up to expectations. Across 17 matches, the Nigeria international has scored just four goals – far from what is required to be successful at Ibrox.
Could the former Club Brugge manager be tempted to delve into the January transfer window to sign another attacker or two? If Lammers and Dessers continue their poor form, he may need to.
Rangers’ January transfer plans
The 49-year-old may have outlined that he could potentially make a signing or two in the coming months when talking with the media before the Hearts game, saying: “I am here to build the team and make them stronger – that is where my focus lies and not on any external noise. We need to work hard in the coming weeks and months to see what we need to do in January. With injuries, you need to find solutions but we had players who were able to step in and that is what I expect.”
He will, of course, have his own transfer targets in mind and could spend the next few weeks exploring certain options, but Clement could potentially reignite a move for a previous summer target at Rangers, as Sam Bell was a player Beale was keen on signing.
According to TEAMtalk, the Gers were keeping tabs on Bell, although they faced stiff competition from clubs such as Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford due to his performances for Bristol City.
The 21-year-old ended up remaining at the Robins despite the interest shown in him and started the season in excellent fashion, with four goals in the first nine league games – which could well spark the rumour mill into action over the next few weeks.
Rangers need another constant goal threat and Bell could be ideal, especially as he has shown traits similar to that of Ryan Kent.
Rangers miss Ryan Kent
Former Ibrox winger Ryan Kent departed after five seasons at the club due to his contract expiring, and while Abdallah Sima has performed well on the left wing, the Gers have missed the presence of Kent in their side.
The Englishman registered 89 goal contributions – 33 goals and 56 assists – across 218 matches for the Light Blues, and while he may have only scored three goals during his final campaign in Scotland, his ability to constantly cause havoc for the opposition defence is something Beale failed to replace during the summer.
While his goalscoring output was lower than expected, Kent did still rank fourth across the squad for big chances created (nine) in the Premiership, while ranking third for key passes (2.2) and first for successful dribbles per game (1.9), indicating that his creative juices were still flowing.
Sima has chipped in with nine goals in just 17 matches, yet he is only on a season-long loan from Brighton, and the Ibrox faithful mustn’t get too attached to him.
Bell is young, has experience in the English second tier and is a goalscoring winger who can also operate through the middle. Clement must surely take another look at the youngster.
Sam Bell has impressed for Bristol City this season
The Englishman made his debut for the club during the 2020/21 season, but it wasn’t until last term that he began to leave his mark on the side.
He scored six times while grabbing three assists in 29 matches, which set him up rather nicely for the current campaign, where he has already bettered his league goal tally from last term.
The youngster is even embodying similar traits to Kent by ranking second across the squad for big chances created in the Championship (three), while ranking fifth for key passes per game (0.8) and sixth for successful dribbles per game (0.6), showing that he is one of the better attacking options at the club.
|Sam Bell’s Championship stats||2022/23||2023/24|
|Key passes per game||0.3||0.8|
|Successful dribbles per game||0.3||0.6|
|Big chances created||2||3|
|Stats via Sofascore|
Of course, he isn’t quite at Kent’s level yet, but Bell has plenty of time to develop, and Clement could be the ideal coach for him.
His manager at City, Nigel Pearson, has described Bell as a “naturally clean finisher” and this attribute has been on show during the opening few months of the season.
The player has only 18 months remaining on his current contract, which might be good news for the Light Blues, who could potentially secure him for a lower price than anticipated during their original interest in the summer.
Due to the form of Lammers and Dessers, Clement might not be able to wait until next summer to get a move sorted, with January being the perfect chance for Bell to arrive and continue his excellent form.
Whatever happens, the Belgian must make his own mind up regarding the young winger and make a decision swiftly, as there are plenty of other teams looking to snatch him away from City the moment the transfer window opens again.