Why Rangers must sign Kieran Dowell to replace Ovie Ejaria in January
According to a report from BBC, Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria has cut his season-long loan deal with Rangers short to return to Anfield.
The 21-year-old signed for Rangers in the summer on a season-long deal, joining Steven Gerrard’s forces at the Ibrox. Ovie Ejaria made 28 Rangers appearances, with all but five being starts. He scored two goals and supplied one assist.
Gerrard dropped the 21-year-old midfielder from the travelling squad for their 1-0 defeat to Rapid Vienna that saw them get knocked out of the Europa League.
Ejaria’s absence at Rangers will now leave a big hole in the middle of the park for Gerrard’s side as they aim to win the Scottish Premiership title. The Gers were held to a goalless draw at Hibernian on Wednesday night, with leaders Celtic re-establishing themselves at the top after their comfortable 3-0 win over Motherwell.
To fill the void left by Ejaria, Gerrard should bring Everton outcast Kieran Dowell at Ibrox in January.
Kieran Dowell, 21, has not been able to nail down a place in the Everton starting XI under Marco Silva. He has been on the fringes for the Merseyside club, managing just two Carabao Cup games.
The 21-year-old had a good loan spell in the Championship in the 2017/18 season with Nottingham Forest. His stock certainly rose but the failure to cement his place in the Everton XI under Silva could see him move out on a temporary basis next month.
At 21, Kieran Dowell needs to play regularly to unlock his true potential and given the midfield options Silva has in his team, it looks highly unlikely for the England U21 international to get a taste of first-team football. That said, a loan move would be beneficial for the midfielder and Rangers must get the deal done as soon as the transfer market reopens.
In Dowell, Gerrard won’t exactly get a like-to-like Ejaria replacement as both are slightly different players. Dowell’s goal return is far superior and he is tactically more flexible than the departed Ejaria. In the Everton ace, Gerrard would get a player who is creative and has the ability to pick out a pass. The 21-year-old has tricky footwork that allows him to keep possession even in the tightest of areas.
Dowell is a classy operator of the ball, intelligent, agile and would bring freshness to Rangers’ play in the last third. The 21-year-old is also a composed finisher in front of the goal and can chip in with a noticeable contribution for Rangers, with the youngster already showing flashes of his potential last season at Nottingham Forest.
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Rangers have been too reliant on Scott Arfield and Daniel Candeias to provide the creative spark at times this season, and Dowell’s potential arrival would certainly lift the weight off of their shoulders. Hence, Gerrard should do everything in his powers to strike a loan deal for Dowell, who could simply turn out to be an upgrade on Ejaria.