Blackburn Rovers midfielder Joe Rothwell will be a good signing for Rangers, but only next season and not in January according to former Leeds and Coventry striker Noel Whelan.
The 26-year-old was linked with a move north of the border this past weekend by Alan Nixon, with the former Manchester United man having less than 12 months left on his contract at Ewood Park.
Rothwell joined Rovers in the summer of 2018 from Oxford United and has featured in over 100 league games for the Lancashire side and he’s now attracting interest from elsewhere as his current deal draws to a close.
If a new one isn’t agreed by January then Rothwell can talk to clubs away from England to move on a free transfer in the summer of 2022, bringing the likes of Rangers into the mix.
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And Whelan believes that Ibrox would be a good switch for the attacking midfielder, but only next season when Steven Gerrard has had a chance to trim his options down in the middle of the park.
“Gerrard knows what sort of characters he needs in the squad – I just wonder how he’s going to fit them all in,” Whelan said, per Football Insider.
“This could be a good signing for them next season when they have the opportunity to start offloading some players.
“Right now, there’s no harm in getting free transfers in but at some point, when you’re rotating a team with too many bodies – some players are going to have to miss out.
“It would be a bonus for Steven Gerrard if he could get this deal done in January or next summer.
“There are too many central midfielders in this Rangers squad and somewhere down the line there’s going to be some casualties leaving the club.”
Rothwell is a very talented player and there’s probably no doubts that he can make the step into the Scottish Premiership.
Rangers are a big team but the top flight of Scotland in general is probably lower Championship or League One standard for the most part so it’s not even so much of a step up for Rothwell, but he would potentially get a chance at European football.
Blackburn are desperate to tie Rothwell and others down but they haven’t showed much progression over the years and the player may want to assess his options the closer he gets to the end of his deal.
You won’t get many detractors regarding a potential Rangers deal for Rothwell – they’ve signed plenty of players from the EFL over the years and there’s been many success stories and Rothwell could be the next.