The Rangers player who should avoid cull - 'he’s one I would consider keeping'

Fashion Sakala's place at Rangers after a number of new attacking signings over the summer.Fashion Sakala's place at Rangers after a number of new attacking signings over the summer.
Fashion Sakala's place at Rangers after a number of new attacking signings over the summer.
Kris Boyd believes Rangers manager Michael Beale should not give up on Fashion Sakala just yet despite now having a plethora of options in the forward area.

Boyd was giving his view on the Ibrox club’s summer purchases, with many of the new recruits coming in a part of the pitch where Sakala prefers to play. The arrival of Abdallah Sima, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and Danilo has led to heavy speculation that Sakala could be on the way out after two years at Ibrox, The 26-year-old recently posted a picture of him waving on Instagram to fuel these rumours. But Boyd is adamant that Beale should consider retaining Sakala because he provides something different. He has shone in spells and scored 12 times last season.

Rangers are also lacking width in attack following the departure of Ryan Kent, with Sakala able to play anywhere across the forward line. He has also been a thorn in Celtic’s side on occasion. “Sakala is an interesting one,” said Boyd. “I’ve been vocal when he was playing as a number nine that he wasn’t an out and out striker. But I’d be reluctant to let him go or sell him.

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“I get Rangers have brought in a lot of forwards and might be looking to get money in, but he brings something different. A lot of the time he doesn’t know what he’s going to do, so there’s no way defenders will know. His pace terrorises defenders. He’s one I would consider keeping.”

Boyd was speaking as he prepared for a new season as joint lead Sky Sports pundit with Old Firm sparring partner Chris Sutton, the broadcaster’s new recruit after extending their television deal. The former Rangers striker is hopeful that the Ibrox side’s rebuild under Beale will mean he has bragging rights over Sutton come the end of the campaign. Scrutiny will be fierce as Beale vies with the returning Brendan Rodgers.

“Patience is key,” said Boyd. “It’s easy to say that but the reality is you don’t get it. And if we’re honest Ange Postecoglou at the start of his time at Celtic was probably one more defeat away from everybody turning on him. That’s how close it was. For whatever reason, though, Rangers allowed his side to get back into that title race two years ago and Celtic kicked-on from there.

“Do I think Rangers can afford to do the same? No, because this Celtic team is a well-oiled machine. They will change the way they play slightly. But Brendan Rodgers is a winner and he’ll want to win and win in style. He will demand his players train their best every single day to allow them to put in top performances.

“But in saying all that, I don’t think Rangers need to hit the ground running as such. The fixtures have been kind to them and they’ve got the first Old Firm at home which I always thought was crucial. If they can lay down a marker in that game then there are already a few Celtic fans undecided on Brendan Rodgers’ return. If they can find a way to win that game of football, things could turn.”

Sky Sports and NOW will show exclusive live coverage of the cinch Premiership, with up to 48 games available this season.