Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the “midfield machine”

Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the "midfield machine"
Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the "midfield machine"

Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the “midfield machine”

Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the “midfield machine”

Glasgow Rangers failed to bring the title back to Ibrox last season, as their local rivals won the trophy for the third year in a row.

Rangers must now devise a strategy to reclaim control of the division in the 2024/25 season and win the title for the first time since Steven Gerrard left the club.

Philippe Clement and Nils Koppen, the head of recruitment, appear to have prioritized younger players in order to challenge for titles in the future.

Only one of Rangers’ seven summer signings this year is over the age of 22, and that’s backup goalkeeper Liam Kelly. Mohammed Diomande, Oscar Cortes, Jefte, Clinton Nsiala, Hamza Igamane, and Connor Barron have all been brought in to help strengthen the squad and reduce the age profile at Ibrox.

Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the "midfield machine"
Imagine him and Barron: Rangers dispatch scouts to watch the “midfield machine”

Meanwhile, John Lundstram, Borna Barisic, Kemar Roofe, Jon McLaughlin, and Ryan Jack, all in their 30s, were let go at the end of May.

There is still plenty of time for more changes in the summer transfer window, and Rangers are apparently seeking for another young talent to join the squad.

Rangers eyeing up Premiership starlet

According to Football Scotland, Motherwell’s central midfielder Lennon Miller has emerged as a target for the Scottish club ahead of next season.

According to the source, the Light Blues are interested in signing the adolescent starlet following his breakout senior season in 2023/24.

According to the report, the Scottish Premiership club sent scouts out to observe the 17-year-old dynamo in action against Livingston in his side’s 2-1 victory earlier this month during pre-season.

According to Football Scotland, he is still under contract with Motherwell until the summer of 2026, therefore they are not in a haste to sell their star midfielder.

It remains to be seen how much the Premier League club will demand for his services, or whether the Gers are willing to make an official offer for his signature.

In the 2023/24 season, Rangers’ top five players in the league in terms of minutes played were all 29 or older, with John Souttar ranking sixth and being the only Scottish player among the top 18.

Clement and Koppen appear to be targeting young Scottish talent as the Rangers’ future, and Barron and Miller may be a dream partnership for fans to watch.

Why Rangers signed Connor Barron

The central midfielder’s contract with Aberdeen terminated at the end of May, and the Scottish giants took advantage of the situation to bring him to Glasgow.

At the time of Barron’s arrival, Koppen noted that it is “important” that young Scottish players play a “big part” in the future, describing him as a “real asset”.

At the age of 21, the Scotland U21 international combines the potential for development with the ability to make an early impression on the pitch.

He joins as a long-term project for Clement to work with in the next years, but his Premiership performances for Aberdeen demonstrate that the talented jewel can also be inserted into the first squad right now.

Barron made 29 appearances in the Scottish Premiership last season, and his performances in the middle of the park indicate that he has the potential to be an outstanding successor for Lundstram.

23/24 Premiership Connor Barron John Lundstram
Appearances 29 34
Assists 3 5
Tackles + interceptions per game 2.6 2.5
Dribbled past per game 0.8 1.0
Ground duel success rate 53% 49%
Aerial duel success rate 68% 55%
Stats via Sofascore

As shown in the table above, the then-Dons star made more tackles and interceptions to regain possession while being dribbled past fewer times per game than the Englishman.

Barron also won a higher percentage of his duels on the ground and in the air, implying that he could give more than the new Trabzonspor signing outside of possession.

Gers fans should expect to see a gritty and aggressive defensive battler in the middle of the park next season, possibly with another young Scottish star, Miller.

Why Rangers should sign Lennon Miller

First and foremost, the Scotland U21 international is another young talent who has the ability to grow and develop in the coming years.

He turns 18 in August, indicating that the Motherwell star still has plenty of time to improve with more first-team experience, implying that the Gers would sign him as a long-term project.

However, as was the case with Barron at Aberdeen, Miller’s Premiership performances last season suggest that he may step in and have an early impact for Clement next season.

As shown in the video above, the adolescent wonder has already demonstrated his talent against Celtic, with a beautiful assist in February.

Miller also demonstrated his defensive prowess against Rangers, winning ten of his 12 duels and recording three tackles and three interceptions in his team’s 2-1 victory at Ibrox in February.

 

23/24 Premiership Lennon Miller John Lundstram Ryan Jack
Appearances 25 34 11
Tackles + interceptions per game 2.8 2.5 0.2
Dribbled past per game 0.8 1.0 0.1
Duels won per game 5.8 3.9 0.5
Ground duel success rate 68% 49% 60%
Aerial duel success rate 70% 55% 0%

As shown in the table above, he contributed significantly more to his team’s possession than Lundstram and Jack, both of whom were released this summer.

Miller, described as a “midfield machine” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, is a bulldog in the middle of the park who can win the majority of his duels to disrupt play, despite his youth and inexperience.

This suggests that he and Barron could form a monstrous midfield partnership, with the young duo dominating opposition midfields with their physicality and defensive prowess, allowing players like Todd Cantwell and Mohammed Diomande to push forward and make an impact at the top of the pitch.

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