Joe Worrall completed a deadline day move to Rangers. Joel Sked looks at the player moving to Ibrox.
A defender’s defender
Worrall was a key player for Forest last season, featuring highly in a range of defensive metrics.
He topped Forest for interceptions which reads as either a young, over-eager defender or, more likely, someone who reads the game well with only James Tavernier in last season’s Rangers squad recording more.
His aerial prowess is similar to that of the departed David Bates
He is happy to get on the ball having made the second most passes for Forest last season, although he has a tendency to play the ball long.
Michael Dawson knows a thing or two about defending and what it takes to be a centre-back. Nearly 300 Premier League appearances, four England caps and Champions League experience.
So his words on Rangers newboy should be taken seriously and he was full of praise having returned to Nottingham Forest in the summer.
“He’s a big, physical boy,” he said. “He’s good on the ball.
“He’s like any young player, he will make mistakes but I think the potential he has got is incredible.
“From that first day when I played against him, I kept an eye on him. I was really impressed with the way he played, how he was on the ball. He plays in the right areas.”
As Rangers slumped to thumping defeats to Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final and in the league last season it was easy to look around and ask where the leaders were. It always is. But in those cases those doing the asking had a point.
Rangers were too easy to play against. There were few players in the team who could grab hold of others and lead in a manner no one on the touchline was capable of.
He may still be young, with fewer than 75 competitive club games under his belt, but Worrall appears to be a natural leader.
The 21-year-old captained England to victory in the 2017 Toulon Tournament, including a 3-0 semi-final win over Scotland. Not only that but he was voted in the team of the tournament and the second best player at the competition in France.
Worrall has also had to suffer in his development, playing for Forest during a relegation battle which they ultimately survived.
It is clear that Steven Gerrard not only wants a certain type of player at Ibrox - strong and dynamic - but a certain type of person. Someone who demands the very best, who will leave it out on the field, someone who will follow instructions and want to learn.
A bit of research on his new signing would have thrown up results which would have been most pleasing.
Aged just 19 he ripped into his team-mates after a loss to Wolves, admitting he was embarrassed to pick up the man of the match.
Recalling the situation he said: “There aren’t many players who have an affection for their club like I do, being from Nottingham. If you are at a club and you have someone who cares and wants to win, you just have to pull your finger out and go for the jugular.
“Some of the players didn’t last season and if I hadn’t have had that interview, I might have had to show it in another way. I might have had a few boots flying around in the changing room or something.”
He’s loved by Forest fans
Worrall’s move to Rangers was met with warmth with Forest fans keen to see him back at the City Ground:
@93Wilson: “They’re getting a top player, so glad it’s only a loan move. We need you for the prem next season lad”
@shaunbarr: “Good move for the player and both clubs at this stage of his career.”
@traceymillar64: “Wishing you all the best Joe!! Look forward to seeing you back at The City Ground next season even stronger!!!”
@d_p_ball: “Come back better Joe. Great experience for you, enjoy every minute.”
@knqst: “Good luck Worrall! Happy for him and Rangers. Bagged yourself a great player there for the season!”
@hermionesimpson: “As long as it’s just a loan, without the option to buy at the end of the season, it could be a good move, ie getting more matches (possibly European ones too in the Europe League) & having Steven Gerrard as your manager.”
@GrapsTalk: “Best of luck. Future key player. Rangers have got a good young lad.”
@kennylaingnurse: “Good luck Joe - you’ll smash it up there no doubt. Plenty of reds will be watching Rangers this year no doubt!”
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