Despite looking like they would finally be able to challenge Celtic again last season, Rangers eventually fell away and finished well behind the Scottish league champions. This time around, Steven Gerrard wants to put up a much closer fight, and he has asked for reinforcements to that end. With Alfredo Morelos close to a move to Lille, it was imperative that Rangers brought in a couple of strikers, especially as Jermain Defoe suffered a minor hamstring injury before the start of the season as well. The arrivals of Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten will certainly add to Gerrard’s options, and hopefully will allow the Gers to be able to mount a proper title challenge this season.
Most punters are tipping Celtic to win the league for an unprecedented tenth season in a row, but it is likely that they will not have an easy time of it. Already, with three matches played in the new season, Rangers have a five-point lead over their Glasgow rivals, albeit Celtic have a game in hand at the moment. Rangers desperately needed attacking reinforcements, since Morelos had been so important to their style of play and they would need to bring in the right players to replace him and his goals. Kemar Roofe is deemed to be the most similar in style of the two new strikers to Morelos, as he also prefers to drop off and link-up play, while pressing high up the pitch when off the ball. Itten, on the other hand, is more of a penalty box poacher, getting a lot of shots away in the box and receiving the ball usually in the penalty area as well. However, both these players will be vital to Rangers hopes this season, especially in terms of supporting the midfield as well. The likes of Nigerian Joe Aribo, whose presence at Ibrox has made Rangers a very popular club on betting sites in Nigeria 2020, and Ryan Kent need to have the forwards putting away the chances they are creating, and both these arrivals should help in that regard.
Itten has been used to playing in a two-striker system over the last couple of seasons, while Roofe is perfectly comfortable leading the line on his own or playing with a partner. The Swiss striker gets most of his goals from central areas within the box, and at 6″2′, he will offer a different, physical option for Gerrard. Roofe, on the other hand, is a pacey forward similar to Morelos in profile, which will hopefully allow the transition once the Colombian leaves to be as seamless as possible.
Roofe is adept at dropping off, almost playing as a false nine at times for Anderlecht under former Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany last season, and this is not too dissimilar to how Gerrard used Morelos occasionally last season. His movement takes him into wider areas as well, where he likes to combine with the wide midfielders and full-backs before being released behind the defensive line to attack the box at an angle. He is arguably even better than Morelos at pressing, and will go out wide to press the full-back or stay central and occupy the opposition’s central midfielder if needed.
Both these strikers will offer something different and dynamic to Rangers, and the hope is that they can be clinical enough to provide the goals to propel a title challenge this season.