Glasgow Rangers wrapped up their winter break by drawing 2-2 with FC Copenhagen at Ibrox on Tuesday evening, and it is now back to the domestic calendar for the Gers this weekend.
Philippe Clement will be hoping to start the second half of the season with a bang as the Glasgow side face Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup, and it could be a chance to give some fringe players a chance in the starting XI.
With just two weeks left of the January transfer market, the Light Blues have only brought in one player thus far – a loan deal for Fabio Silva until the end of the season.
If Clement wishes to challenge on both European and domestic fronts over the next couple of months, he will need to add another one or two players to his squad, especially as fixture congestion could be a real possibility.
With several positions in desperate need of rejuvenation, could the 49-year-old be targeting a move for another centre-back this month?
Rangers’ search for new signings
During the summer transfer window last year, the Gers were showing interest in highly rated Leeds United defender Charlie Cresswell, but no move ever materialised.
Fast-forward a few months, and it appears as though they are still one of the teams interested in the youngster. According to pundit Carlton Palmer, that is.
Speaking to Football League World, the former professional said: “Daniel Farke has repeatedly said Leeds won’t allow Charlie Cresswell to go out on loan.
“There is plenty of interest for Charlie. Boro, Stoke, Ipswich, Rangers to name a few.”
Recently, Daniel Farke has said that Cresswell won’t be part of his first team plans when talking with the media, saying: “He won’t be picked until he is ready, mentally ready. I just want players who want to be there, accept their role and are fully on it.”
Could this perhaps tempt Clement into making a move for the player during the final few weeks of the transfer window in order to bolster his defence?
Clement could sign his next Disasi in Rangers move for 6 foot starlet
Rangers appear to be eyeing a move for a Championship defender this month.
The Englishman may be a rough diamond, yet he has shown plenty of promise down south, and he could follow in the footsteps of Calvin Bassey and potentially be the next £23m talent to emerge from the Ibrox side.
How Charlie Creswell compares to Calvin Bassey
Bassey moved to Rangers in the summer of 2020 following a spell at Leicester City, but he failed to make an appearance for the senior side and ended up costing the Gers just £230k as a training compensation fee.
This meant Steven Gerrard was able to sign a promising young talent and give them confidence they could flourish in Scotland.
Despite making only 15 appearances as the Light Blues won their first league title in a decade, the following season saw the Nigerian international rise to prominence.
Due to an injury crisis at the heart of the defence, Bassey moved from his natural left-back slot alongside Connor Goldson at centre-back and the duo forged a formidable partnership as he ended up making 50 appearances in all competitions.
Indeed, Bassey shone as the club reached the Europa League final in 2022 and his performances clearly attracted interest from the continent.
Ajax stumped up a fee of close to £23m in order to prise the defender from the Glasgow side and his sale is the record for the club.
While his spell in the Netherlands was not the most rewarding, he has since joined Fulham and is impressing in the Premier League – starting 12 top-flight games so far this term.
Cresswell, should he move to Rangers, could take notice of Bassey’s career path, as it proves that showcasing your talents in Scotland could ensure a lucrative move after a few years.
The current Leeds defender plays in the same position as Bassey and, even though he has played senior matches down south, finds himself in a position where he is not playing as often as his talents deserve.
How Charlie Cresswell could fit into the Rangers side
Clement currently has five senior centre-backs in his squad, yet four of them are fighting it out to be Goldson’s regular partner.
Leon Balogun’s contract expires at the end of the season, and he will likely depart, while Ben Davies has not endured the best of times under Clement, making just six appearances since the 49-year-old arrived in mid-October, and it looks as though his future lies away from the club.
John Souttar has been plagued with injury issues since joining in 2022, missing 46 games last term, meaning he cannot be relied on to be fit for a full campaign.
Leon King is still young and could emerge as a future star, but he must be given more opportunities. Cresswell, then, could force his way into the starting XI should he make the move north of the border and his spell at Millwall last season proves that he has what it takes to slot into the Gers side.
The defender not only ranked second among the squad for average Sofascore rating in the Championship during 2022/23 (7.13), but he also ranked second for accurate passes per game (28.1), first for accurate long balls per game (four) and third for interceptions per game (1.3), indicating that his talents were on full show at the Den.
The “unbelievable” 6 foot titan, as dubbed by Leeds presenter Joe Wainman two years ago, even won a staggering 7.6 total duels per game – a success rate of 60% – and this impressive physicality could see him thrive in Scotland.
Clement is going to need to act swiftly if he aims to bring the defender to Ibrox, especially as there are other clubs showing interest in the 21-year-old this winter.
Charlie Cresswell’s Championship statistics
Accurate passes per game
Total duels won per game
Tackles per game
Interceptions per game
Stats via Sofascore
He may need to move some deadwood on to ensure a permanent deal goes ahead, but this shouldn’t be too difficult.
The next few weeks could be interesting indeed with regard to who potentially arrives at Ibrox and if the Belgian manager can pull off a couple of solid signings, it could prove to be the catalyst which sees the club win another trophy or two this term.