Up to 8 players to leave Rangers - Steven Gerrard's squad analysed

"I want a group of probably 23 or 24 players that are all fighting for 11 jerseys."

Steven Gerrard will still be juggling his squad right up until the closure of the transfer window. Picture: SNS
Steven Gerrard will still be juggling his squad right up until the closure of the transfer window. Picture: SNS

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Steven Gerrard has maintained that he wants a trim squad with two players fighting for each position in a season where they could be competing on four fronts if they get past Legia Warsaw in the Europa League play-offs.

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That would, of course, mean a squad of 22, add in a third goalkeeper and a utility player such as Andy Halliday or Matt Polster bringing it to 24.

Steven Gerrard will still be juggling his squad right up until the closure of the transfer window. Picture: SNS

The numbers at Gerrard's disposal in the first-team is currently sitting at 31.

It could swell further following the reports that Ryan Kent could try and force a return to Ibrox, the news all Rangers fans have been waiting for.

The rumours that he is prepared to down tools have been rubbished, report the Scottish Sun.

The move from Liverpool is not going to be straight forward with the Anfield side wanting £7million for the player, meaning the club may have to get creative in their dealings.

If he arrives it would mean a squad of 32. Therefore there could be as many as eight players exiting the club.

With a little over 12 days until the transfer window closes (midnight on Monday, 2 September) there is not a lot of time to shed the unwanted players.

There will likely be a mix of permanent transfers, loan deals and possibly mutual termination of contracts, as happened with Kyle Lafferty.

So how does the squad look currently?

Goalkeepers

Allan McGregor

Wes Foderingham

Andy Firth

Full-backs

James Tavernier

Jon Flanagan

Borna Barisic

Andy Halliday

Matt Polster

Centre-backs

Connor Goldson

George Edmundson

Nikola Katic

Filip Helander

Centre-midfielders

Joe Aribo

Steven Davis

Ryan Jack

Glen Kamara

Andy King

Greg Docherty

Jason Holt

Graham Dorrans

Forwards

Scott Arfield

Jordan Jones

Brandon Barker

Sheyi Ojo

Jake Hastie

Greg Stewart

Jamie Murphy

Joe Dodoo

Eros Grezda

Ryan Kent?

Strikers

Jermain Defoe

Alfredo Morelos

There are four obvious players whose futures lie away from Ibrox long-term: Eros Grezda, Graham Dorrans, Jason Holt and Joe Dodoo. The quartet played less than 900 minutes for the club last season.

So who could the other four be that may depart?

Jamie Murphy is still coming back from a long-term injury and Gerrard has suggested that he may be loaned out which will help the former Motherwell ace get back up to speed. Contracted until 2021 there would still be that opportunity to work his way back into the plans at Ibrox.

Another ex-Motherwell wide man who may go out on loan is Jake Hastie. Having broke through at Fir Park last season the club will be wary of stunting his growth and there was the suggestion that he would move elsewhere for a season in search of game time.

That leaves two players. It is easier to make a case for the rest of the squad to stay, but two individuals stand out more than most as to being the ones who could depart.

Borna Barisic, despite starting the first competitive match of the season and first league game, has fallen down the pecking order behind Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday. He did not even get off the bench against East Fife.

Another involved at New Bayview, Greg Stewart has not had a positive start to his Rangers career. He was taken off against the League One opposition having not made an impact. He was left out the squad for the Europa League double header against FC Midtjylland but he has been part of the first-team in most matches.

It may be the case that circumstances change, and with Andy King and Ryan Kent becoming available, Gerrard is happier to go with a bigger squad, aided by the fact there are better quality options throughout with someone like Greg Stewart capable of filling in as the third-choice forward option. An injury to Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos would hit Rangers hard.

The club's supporters will be keeping an eager eye on the movements of Kent and the arrival door at Ibrox. But just as interestingly will be those who depart.