Rangers: Steven Gerrard previews Celtic clash
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has opening on his conversation with Vincent Kompany in the summer which led to a key transfer. Rangers are in a promising position at the top of the Scottish Premiership, 16 points ahead of rivals Celtic.
Part of their success this season, which has seen Rangers drop just four points through 21 games, has been the impact of their recent signings.
Calvin Bassey, Jon McLaughlin and Leon Balogun have all established themselves as strong squad rotation players while Ianis Hagi has looked impressive since his loan move from Genk was made permanent.
But arguably the signing with the biggest impact has been of 27-year-old Kemar Roofe.
The striker spent the early stages of his career bouncing around clubs on loan before settling at Leeds for three seasons.
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A tally of 16 goals in the 2018/19 season saw Anderlecht come calling and he made an instant impact in the Belgian league, scoring seven goals in just 16 appearances.
And Roofe has carried that excellent form with him to Rangers with an impressive haul of 12 goals in 20 appearances.
Gerrard suggests he had to fight to take Roofe from Anderlecht, including a conversation with former Premier League rival Kompany.
The ex-Manchester City captain was desperate to keep Roofe at the club, but Gerrard’s now reaping the rewards from their push to sign him.
“We ask ex-players that have played with them or been around them, ex-managers and coaches,” Gerrard said.
“We get a lot of information before we actually press the green button and say ‘yes, we want to do this’.
“Everyone spoke extremely well and I obviously had a lot of dialogue with Vincent Kompany about the player as well. Vincent didn’t want to lose Kemar.
“That is the reality of it and tells a story but certain managers and certain clubs maybe have to make certain decisions that are out of your control.
“I knew before I went to Vincent that we were dealing with a top player, a goal scorer and a workaholic, someone who is relentless in terms of regaining the ball and had loads and loads of quality.
“To add a leader in the group, and someone who is low maintenance, is two major bonuses from a managers’ point of view.”
He added: “He’s an example to everyone else and the goals speak for themselves. He’s done that throughout his career but it’s been a real eye opener to be around him.
“We have been surprised by his leadership skills and qualities and to appreciate how much of a winner he is.
“So to have him available as part of our squad now that he’s fully fit is really exciting going into this game.”
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