Scottish giants Rangers are reportedly considering signing 38-year-old West Brom defender Gareth McAuley in the summer.
New Gers boss Steven Gerrard is preparing for his first season at Ibrox and has already overseen the signings of Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor and Jamie Murphy. The former Liverpool skipper faces a massive summer where he has to chalk out plans to bridge the gap between his club and arch-rivals Celtic. And in order to catch challenge Celtic, Gerrard needs to strengthen his side’s defence.
The Light Blues conceded 50 goals in 38 Scottish Premiership games last season, thereby finishing third in the league behind Aberdeen and winners Celtic. So, as things stand, shoring up the defence should be at the top of Gerrard’s priority list.
To reshape the leaky defence, Rangers are reportedly interested in signing McAuley, who is available as a free agent after West Brom suffered relegation from the Premier League last season. But should Gerrard make a move for the 38-year-old defender?
McAuley hardly featured for West Brom in the 2017/18 campaign as they finished rock-bottom in the Premier League table. He managed just nine league appearances, while in total the defender turned out 12 times for the Baggies last term.
The veteran defender has gained bags of experience from playing in the Premier League. He spent the last seven seasons at the Hawthorns, making over 200 Premier League appearances for the club. McAuley is clearly past his prime but his experience and leadership qualities could come in handy for Rangers next season.
Rangers are in big need of defensive reinforcements, and McAuley could address those concerns. He may not be the quickest or the most athletic defender but still has the capability to do a decent job on a short-term basis.
The Northern Irishman would definitely bolster Rangers’ defensive department and would give the Gers some much-needed stability and reliability at the back after some horrendous defensive performances last season.
McAuley is a fantastic organiser of defence and despite being 38 years of age, he has the potency and fitness to compete at the highest level in Scotland. He could potentially also act as a mentor to the promising but young Ross McCrorie.
It makes perfect sense for Rangers to sign McAuley in the summer, despite the defender being well past his prime.