Why Kevin Nisbet would be a good long-term signing for Rangers
According to claims from Football Insider, as cited by The Scotsman, Rangers are keeping tabs on Dunfermline Athletic striker Kevin Nisbet, with the report suggesting that the Gers are set to monitor his progress at close quarters in the coming months.
The 22-year-old has been in fine form for Dunfermline in the Scottish Championship this season, accumulating an impressive tally of 10 goals and 5 assists in 18 appearances across all competitions, and his heroics in the second-tier has put Rangers on red alert.
The Glasgow-born centre-forward rose through the youth ranks at Patrick Thistle and excelled in the SPFL Development League before bursting onto the scene at the senior level in the Scottish Premiership during the 2015-16 campaign.
However, with regular minutes hard to come by at his boyhood club, he only played a bit-part role in the first-team. He spent time on loan at Dumbarton and Ayr United in the Scottish Championship, as well as at East Stirlingshire in the Scottish League Two.
Nisbet completed a permanent transfer to League One outfit Raith Rovers last summer and prolific returns of 34 goals in 46 games across all competitions in the previous campaign paved the way for a move to Dunfermline Athletic prior to the start of the ongoing season.
The 22-year-old hasn’t looked back since then and has kicked on from where he had signed off last season, with the striker replicating his prolific form in front of goal.
The youngster’s red-hot form hasn’t eluded the eyes of the Ibrox giants and if he continues to fire on all cylinders at East End Park in the coming months, a return to the top-flight shouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility in January or next summer.
To put things into perspective, Kevin Nisbet has certainly made eyeballs turn with his heroics at Dunfermline.
Still only 22, the Glasgow-born starlet has plenty of time on his side to make significant adjustments to his game in order to match the demands of playing in the top-flight. Thus, Rangers shouldn’t make the mistake of judging him based on his previous exploits at Patrick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership.
Agreed, Nisbet had struggled to make an impact on the Scottish top-flight back earlier in his career but it is hard to deny the fact that he was quite young when he first burst on to the scene at the Firhill Stadium.
As evident from his goal returns in recent times, Nisbet has added a lot more pedigree to his game. Honing his skills in the lower divisions have certainly helped him add a lot more to his repertoire.
With Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos going all guns blazing, Rangers haven’t been short of goals this term. That said, they are yet to bring in a replacement for Kyle Lafferty, who departed Ibrox to join Norwegian club Sarpsborg in the summer.
Furthermore, with Defoe at the twilight of his career at 37 and Alfredo Morelos attracting interest from several European clubs, including ones in the Premier League, (Football Insider, h/t Daily Express) Rangers should sign someone like Kevin Nisbet.
Lawrence Shankland, who is still plying his trade with Dundee United in the second-tier, has earned international recognition for Scotland and Nisbet could be the next in line to follow in his footsteps.
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Steven Gerrard has done exceedingly well since taking over at Rangers last year but with several ageing stars still operating as some of the mainstays, the Gers would eventually need to show some much-needed far-sightedness in the transfer window.
Suffice to say, Kevin Nisbet is a talented player and Gerrard should continue to keep a close eye on his development before making an official approach for his services.