Why Rangers Should Look To Sign Michael Kightly From Burnley This Summer
In terms of quality (arguably) and player transfer values (definitely), the Scottish Premiership these days is akin to League One in England.
With this in mind, Rangers’ penchant for looking at England’s Championship for talent may prove to be a very wise move indeed. While relatively ambitious moves are apparently being readied for Norwich City pair Graham Dorrans and Steven Naismith, signing Michael Kightly for free would be a wise step too.
The former Burnley man hit the headlines while at Wolves and was talked of as a future England star. While he didn’t hit the heights on the international stage, he did prove to be a solid player hovering somewhere between Premier League and Championship in terms of quality.
With his deal at Burnley approaching an end, the Lancashire club sent him out on loan to second-tier side Burton Albion last season and he performed admirably. 4 goals and an assist from just 10 starts accurately reflect how well he did at the Midlands side and he seems sure to be snapped up by somebody.
On a week-to-week basis, Kightly is capable of playing at a higher level than the Scottish Premiership in its current guise. One thing that Rangers and Celtic have over their competitors for such players is the size of their clubs overall. In Rangers’ case, Kightly would be invited to a club with a huge history, a massive fan base and the possibility of playing in Europe and challenging for domestic trophies.
For his part, Kightly would be offering the club some experience (he is 31 now) and high quality. His pass completion rate of 74% in the Championship for a winger is extremely good and it will be higher in the SPL. An average of 1.9 key passes per game shows how dangerous he can be.
Although Kightly is capable of playing right across the midfield or attack, his level of performance seems to go up when starting on the left. With Barrie McKay not having guaranteed his Rangers future in Pedro Caixinha, and Niko Kranjcar seemingly a lost cause, this is a position Rangers have a need to fill and the former Watford and Stoke City player could just be the man for the job.