Why Rangers should offload Bruno Alves after just one season at Ibrox
Rangers defender Bruno Alves is back to Glasgow after Portugal crashed out of World Cup on Saturday, following their 2-1 loss to Uruguay in the Round of 16.
After returning to Scotland, Alves met with his Rangers’ teammate Alfredo Morelos and posted a picture with him on Instagram.
Rangers, under new manager Steven Gerrard, are gearing up for their Europa League first qualifying round clash with Macedonian club FK Shkupi. The game against Shkupi next Thursday will come too soon for Alves, who is yet to train with the rest of the Rangers squad.
Alves, 36, is reportedly a target for Vitoria Guimaraes but the Portuguese outfit can’t afford to buy the defender. He still has a year left on the deal he signed with Rangers when he joined from Cagliari last summer as former manager Pedro Caixinha’s marquee signing. Now that the Portuguese defender has returned from his international duty, what should Rangers do with him?
Alves was Caixinha’s first signing as Rangers boss but he failed to impress in his first season at Ibrox, despite his immense pedigree and experience. He struggled with niggling injuries and also found himself out-of-favour under interim boss Graeme Murty. The Portuguese used to have a genuine burst of pace but, at 36, he is no longer a spring chicken.
Despite his massive experience, Alves only made 25 appearances in all competitions last season – 20 of which came in the league. He is an accomplished defender and a notable figure for both club and country but struggled to adapt to the demands of the Scottish Premier League. The defender often looked uninspiring while lacking pace.
Fellow centre-back and Alves’ Portuguese compatriot Fabio Cardoso has also struggled to impose himself in Scottish football since joining from Vitoria Setubal last summer. And after a season full of struggles at Ibrox, Cardoso has been told that he will not feature much next season by new manager Gerrard.
The Gers have already signed central defenders Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic and that has cast doubt over Alves’ future at Ibrox. There is no doubt that the veteran Portuguese is a good defender but he is simply past his prime.
Alves’ best years are well behind him and there is no point keeping him in the squad next season. Now that Goldson and Katic have joined the Gers, it could be a useful idea for Rangers to sell Alves to raise funds for signing players in other areas.