The Rangers careers of Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace hang in the balance following an alleged bust-up with manager Graeme Murty, with some paper talk stating the two have played their last game for the club.
Assuming they remain in Scottish football, which would be the best clubs for them to join next? Craig Fowler has the answers...
It’s no surprise that the Steelmen are in for Miller, as this move makes the most sense. Stephen Robinson’s men pride themselves on running and scrapping harder than the opposition and what better way to add to that by recruiting the Energiser Bunny of Scottish football? With Nadir Ciftci due to return to Celtic after his loan spell ends, and playmaker Craig Tanner likely out until at least September, there is room for Miller to come in and make his mark.
Whether it happens or not would depend on how the rest of Scottish football sees Miller, and how he sees himself. Despite his advancing age and subpar season, most pundits seem to regard him as still sitting among the best strikers in Scotland. If that’s the general consenus among managers then expect him to pitch up at an Aberdeen or Hearts (even though neither side particularly needs a player of his ilk) with Motherwell priced out of the market.
Neil Lennon has admitted that he tried to sign Miller in January, and again last summer. If he wishes to pursue such interest once again then Hibs will be favourites to land the player.
Not only can they offer more money than the likes of Motherwell, there’s also the emotional connection with Miller having started his career at Easter Road and being an Edinburgh boy.
Miller wouldn’t fit into the current Hibs team at present - though he’d provide a different option off the bench - but the Hibs team may look completely different next season.
Jamie Maclaren will likely leave when his loan expires, while there’s a chance Dylan McGeouch and John McGinn could go too.
Florian Kamberi and Scott Allan are loanees who are expected to stay, but there’s no certainty that will be the case. All in all, there’s a lot for Lennon to consider.
There’s also the Simon Murray situation and whether the plan is to retain him when his loan at Dundee expires. The striker plays a very similar style to Miller and it would beg the question if there’s a need for both of them in the same squad, let alone the same starting XI.
In Steven MacLean they’ve lost a veteran striker and fiery competitor who works hard and likes to link with the midfield by dropping deep off the frontline. If the interest isn’t there from some of the bigger clubs, Saints could see Miller as the ideal replacement.
Because it’s been nearly two years since the last Old Firm banter signing. Can you imagine? He wouldn’t even have to play. They could immediately make him a Celtic ambassador. The seethe generated could power Govan for the next 12 months.
A Rangers reconciliation
This would be Wallace’s first choice. He still has a year left on his current deal and would hope, maybe even expect, that a new manager coming in would consider handing him a second chance - if the board would allow it.
He’s said many times before that he’s happy living in Scotland, and having turned down opportunities to leave in the past it would be strange if he were to go now.
That limits his options and there’s absolutely no doubt that, should he leave Rangers, he’ll definitely be earning less money next term.
It’s the most obvious destination. It’s his former club, the one he started his career at, and they desperately need a competent left-back. The Tynecastle side revealed a couple of days ago that they’re looking to re-sign Demetri Mitchell from Manchester United for next season, but there a number of factors that need straightened out before that could happen. If they are unsuccessful and Wallace is available and willing, this would be a no-brainer.
If the left-back is willing to move up north, or at least undergo a lengthy commute for training, then he should find himself a spot on the team that could still hold the claim to be second best in the land.
Andrew Considine has managed to turn himself into a pretty solid full-back over the past couple of seasons, but the long-serving defender remains a limited threat going forward.
Dons fans have repeatedly cried out for Graeme Shinnie to reprise his former role since he arrived at the club, mainly because there’s nobody at his level to replace him in the position.
Wallace, who’ll turn 31 before the start of next season, isn’t quite at that level, but he’d still be an upgrade in terms of bringing extra attacking impetus down the flank.
The Dees could use a player like Wallace at left-back, especially as Neil McCann likes to change up his system and switch from a four to a three at the back.
However, more so than Miller it’s highly doubtful there won’t be a top five club perusing Wallace if he is available.