Clement can repeat Arfield blinder in Rangers deal for £33k-p/w titan

Glasgow Rangers finally return to competitive action this evening as they face Dumbarton in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, and they will be hoping it will be the start of a journey which sees them win the cup for the 35th time come May.

Philippe Clement has already won the League Cup since arriving at Ibrox in mid-October, and it won’t just be the Scottish Cup he has his eyes on, especially as the Light Blues are in with a shot at winning the Premiership crown.


While the matches are set to come thick and fast, Clement will also be looking to bring in another signing or two following the arrival of Fabio Silva from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The injury crisis that engulfed the squad prior to Christmas showcased that the club need more depth in certain positions, and this should give the Belgian a licence to delve into the market.

Rangers’ search for new signings

According to the Daily Mail, the Light Blues are showing interest in West Ham United defender Ben Johnson.

They face competition from Leeds United and Premier League side Sheffield United in their chase for the 23-year-old as he has made it clear he is not signing a new contract at the Hammers.

David Moyes will now be keen to move him on during the January transfer window to rake in a fee for the right-back, otherwise he will lose him for nothing in the summer.


It remains to be seen how much of a budget Clement has to work with before committing to bringing him in this month, as tying him down on a pre-contract agreement may be the smarter move this month.

This could allow the 49-year-old coach to not only bring in a reliable defender for nothing, but also allow him to use whatever funds he has available to strengthen his midfield and attack in January.

Rangers have had plenty of success with signing players on pre-contract agreements from England, with Scott Arfield being one of the most notable examples, and Johnson could certainly follow in his footsteps.


Clement could land his next Sterling as Rangers eye £33k-p/w dynamo

The Light Blues are reportedly interested in a swoop for the young defender.

Scott Arfield spent five seasons at Rangers

The former Canadian international spent five years at Burnley, featuring 86 times in the Premier League, before joining the Steven Gerrard revolution at Ibrox in the summer of 2018 on a free transfer.

He played a key role for the Gers during his first three seasons, culminating in the midfielder making 28 Premiership appearances as he helped end a decade-long drought without a league title in stunning fashion.

Arfield showcased his attacking abilities under Gerrard, registering 46 goal contributions during those first three seasons – 28 goals and 18 assists – but the last two years of his stint in Glasgow saw these tallies decrease.


Indeed, across both 2021/22 and 2022/23, the 35-year-old notched 15 goals and grabbed just one assist as the club only won the Scottish Cup.

He ended his five-year stay in Scotland at the end of last season, and he could perhaps feel aggrieved at not securing at least another year on his deal as the midfielder would still have offered something from the bench.

Scott Arfield’s Rangers statistics


















Via Transfermarkt

There is no doubt he was one of Gerrard’s finest signings, especially as it cost the club nothing, and they could replicate this move by luring Johnson north of the border.

How Ben Johnson could fit into the Rangers side

The £33k-per-week defender made his debut for West Ham during the 2018/19 campaign, yet it took until the 2020/21 season for him to make more than ten Premier League appearances as he firmly established himself as part of the senior squad.

A right-back by trade, Johnson is equally adept at playing on the left side of the defence or even in the centre of the midfield, and this positional versatility could be a huge advantage for Clement.


This adaptability could allow him to slot into a few different positions as and when required by the manager, and he could even become a potential long-term heir to James Tavernier, who turns 33 this year.

Indeed, WhoScored state that Johnson excels at crossing and ball interception, while he likes to play long balls and crosses often, indicating that he could be a decent option at right-back for the club.

Ben Johnson has been underused by West Ham this season

The youngster enjoyed a relatively decent campaign during 2022/23, particularly in the Europa Conference League.

Not only did the right-back rank fourth among the whole squad for overall Sofascore rating (7.15) in the competition, but he also ranked second for accurate passes per game (48.8), third for accurate long balls (2.7) and second for interceptions per game (1.7), clearly showcasing his talents on the big European stage as West Ham eventually won the trophy.

This season, however, Johnson has played in just seven matches for the senior side, including only two Premier League games, and it looks as though his time at the club is approaching an end.

During his only league start against Brighton and Hove Albion a few weeks ago, the 23-year-old made two tackles, two interceptions, two clearances and won three of his five ground duels, along with taking 61 touches, and it indicated that he still has plenty to offer.

He was praised by West Ham View on X, who said: “It would definitely be a mistake to let Ben Johnson leave the club this month or on a free in the summer.

“He looks quick, sharp, and hungry atm. Has been better than Coufal in the few games he played last few weeks for me as well.”

Johnson – who has been described as a “wonderful professional” by ex-Hammers coach Stuart Pearce – is still at an age when he is continuing to develop and making a move to a club that could give him more regular minutes would help him as a player and allow him to showcase his true potential.

If Rangers can convince him a move to Ibrox is the best thing for his career, he will have the chance to challenge for trophies alongside playing continental football for one of the biggest clubs in Britain.

Clement must act swiftly in order to tie him down to a pre-contract agreement, that’s for sure.

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