Five things you should know about Rangers target Joe Garner

Rangers look set to sign Preston striker Joe Garner for a fee believed to be around £1.5m.

Joe Garner looks set to move to Rangers. Picture: Getty

Here is everything you need to know about the 28-year-old.

Garner is a jack-of-all-trades attacker

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The 28-year-old doesn’t have many stand-out attributes, but there are very few weaknesses to his game either. Despite being a modest 5ft 11in, he’s got a great leap and is strong in the air. He’s quick without being lightning and, though he doesn’t have the frame of a back-to-the-goal target man, has the required technical skills to perform the role well. Perhaps his most noted strength is his work rate, as he chases everything in the final third and rarely stops moving.

PNE fans adore him

Part of this is to do with how much work he puts into every game, and part is because he supported the club as a boy, as both create a dream combination for any fanbase. He also earns admiration for refusing to give up after a dreadful start in which he failed to net in his first 15 games. Once he got going he couldn’t stop, scoring over 20 in two successive years and winning the League One player of the year in 2014/15. His goal tally has slipped off since Preston secured promotion to the Championship, though many fans are still willing to forgive him, viewing the tactics the team deployed in a higher division as part of the problem.

Scored a spectacular goal in a play-off semi final

It’s a strike replayed by Sky Sports numerous times. In a play-off semi away at Rotherham United, Garner equalised with a stunning effort. Controlling a long ball with his chest, he then flicks it over the head of the nearest defender and, without the ball touching the ground at any point, sends a thunderous volley from 22 yards that loops over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Scored twice in a game after being sent off

He wasn’t actually sent off, obviously, but was all set for an early bath before the referee red carded the wrong player in a case of mistaken identity. Garner watched his team-mate walk off and then took full advantage of his reprieve by scoring two goals in an away win at Port Vale, including this rather eye-catching effort.

Dundee United tried to sign him in 2007

If/when Garner lines up against Hearts, he’ll be competing against a side overseen by the manager who originally tried to bring him to Scottish football. Craig Levein, current Director of Football at Tynecastle, was Dundee United manager when he attempted to coax Garner to Tannadice. The stumbling block was the fee. United were hoping to scoop up the striker for nothing after he failed to break into the first-team following years in the youth system at Blackburn, but were gazumped when Carlisle United coughed up £140,000 to make his loan at Brunton Park permanent. The gamble paid off the for the Cumbria club, with Garner being sold on for almost ten times the fee a year later to Nottingham Forest.

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