Two Replacements For David Bates If He Leaves Rangers
With a new contract not yet agreed at Ibrox, David Bates may well consider the possibility of leaving his boyhood favourites Rangers and head to pastures new.
He may leave this month, with Sunderland, in particular, being keen on signing the centre-back. Bates is worrying about his place after the arrival of Scotland international Russell Martin from Norwich City.
As well as Bates, Rangers already have Fabio Cardoso, Martin, Ross McCrorie and Bruno Alves at their disposal, who can all not only play at centre-back but specifically on the right-hand side of the centre-back pairing. The point is that Portuguese pair Cardoso and Alves may not be around for long and the 32-year-old Martin is only on loan so they need to think about the future.
With this in mind, I’m sure they don’t want to allow Bates to leave permanently but if they cannot satisfy his demands, be it contractually or in terms of game time, then they must ensure they have someone else coming off the production line.
Here are two young, talented, right-sided centre-backs they may look to bring in if Bates moves on:
John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian)
At 21, the Aberdeen-born centre-back fits the bill and he has more than played his part this season at Tynecastle, with 21 appearances under his belt across all competitions.
Souttar is the type who, with all due respect to Hearts, would improve at Rangers and if he handles the more intense pressure at Ibrox, he could yet go on to be a regular starter not just for the Light Blues but also for the Scottish national side.
Niall Mason (Doncaster Rovers)
Born in Brighton but eligible to play for USA as well, Mason has been going great guns in England’s League One with Donny and may be worth a punt. The 21-year-old can play anywhere across the back line but is essentially a centre-back and an improving one at that.
Mason has only been a permanent member of Rovers’ squad since the summer, having previously been in Yorkshire only on loan from Aston Villa. However, he is now a well-established team player, having played 32 games already this term.
He has netted twice in the league this season from 22 games and so he clearly likes to make his presence felt in the opposition penalty area, something which could be very useful for Rangers. He may be worth chancing in the summer.