Rangers could sign 6.5m star as an "instant upgrade" on Davies

rangers could sign 6.5m star as an

Rangers could sign 6.5m star as an "instant upgrade" on Davies

Glasgow Rangers head into pre-season boosted by plenty of new arrivals as it appears Philippe Clement is changing the philosophy of the club’s approach to the transfer market.

Long gone are the days of signing ageing players on a high wage. Rather, young talent is being sought in order to establish a player trading model which will make the Gers millions in the next few years.

With new signings including Jefte, Oscar Cortes, Connor Barron and Clinton Nsiala, who are all aged 22 or under, this new strategy is certainly coming to the fore.

Is it a gamble? Of course, but this way allows Clement to develop players who can turn from a promising gem into an experienced professional over the next few seasons.

With the start of the season still over a month away, the Belgian is showing no signs of slowing down, especially as he aims to bolster his defence this summer.

Rangers eyeing move for Serie A defender

Reports in Austria (via the Scotsman) earlier this month suggested that the Light Blues are showing some interest in defender Flavius Daniliuc, who currently plays for Italian side Salernitana.

The Austrian defender did spend the second half of last season on loan at Red Bull Salzburg in his homeland, but it looks as though he could be on the move this summer, especially as his loan side turned down their option to sign him on a permanent basis.

Celtic are also keen admirers of the 23-year-old centre-back, which could see the two Old Firm sides go head-to-head in a transfer battle.

Daniliuc is currently on international duty with Austria at Euro 2024, where he has yet to make an appearance against either the Netherlands or Poland at the competition.

With a market value of €7.7m (£6.5m) as per Football Transfers, Clement may potentially try and secure his services on a loan deal as opposed to spending that amount on one player, especially considering his budget will be tight.

This could change if he is able to shift a few players on, with Ben Davies one who could be cashed in on in the coming weeks.

Why Rangers need to move on Ben Davies

The Englishman signed for the Ibrox side back in the summer of 2022 for a fee in the region of £4m, but it is safe to say that he hasn’t quite lived up to this.

During his maiden campaign, the former Liverpool centre-back made 38 appearances across all competitions, yet the Light Blues ended the season trophyless for the first time since 2020.

Throughout the 2023/24 term, Davies made only 17 appearances, which included just seven starts in the Premiership, as Clement preferred Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and John Souttar as his options at the heart of the defence.

Davies ranked sixth for possession lost last season (12.1) when compared to his teammates in the top flight, along with ranking 11th for tackles (1.1) and seventh for interceptions (0.8) per game, indicating that he failed to really demonstrate his talents even when he was given a chance in the starting XI.

Ben Davies' domestic stats at Rangers since joining

Metric (per game)

2022/23

2023/24

Accurate passes

50.7

58

Accurate long balls

3.9

2.8

Tackles

0.9

1.1

Possession lost

7.4

12.1

Total duels won

3.7

5.3

Clearances

2

3.1

Via Sofascore

There was interest in him late last summer, but Michael Beale opted to keep him heading into the first half of the season. If a decent offer comes in, however, Clement will surely take it and run, allowing him to add someone of Daniliuc’s quality instead.

Why Daniliuc would be a great Davies replacement

The defender made a total of 27 appearances last term for two teams, but it was his loan spell at Salzburg which has clearly caught the eye of those in Scotland.

While featuring just 12 times for the Red Bull club, Daniliuc managed to register three assists, while he also ranked fifth among his teammates for accurate passes per game (37.4) in the Austrian top flight, along with ranking ninth for tackles (1.5), seventh for interceptions (1.4) and sixth for clearances (1.4) per game, not bad at all considering he only spent a few months at the club.

Not only that, but Daniliuc even managed to rank in the top 6% for tackles per 90 (2.3) when compared to positional peers in similar leagues, also ranking in the top 19% for blocks per 90 (1.57), evidence of how well he performed during his spell in his homeland with Salzburg.

Importantly, he is currently six years younger than Davies, which would fit in well with Clement’s philosophy of moving for highly-rated young talent in the transfer window.

Also crucial is that the 6-foot defender could be key in allowing the Gers to build out play from the back. Not only did he average 0.97 progressive carries per 90 last season, but the defender also averaged 4.48 progressive passes per 90 minutes, demonstrating how effective he was at moving the ball from the heart of the defence into a more promising position.

Rangers Journal founder Kai Watson praised the defender heavily when profiling him amid the links, saying: “A quality defender and who has experience in Serie A. Can play centre back or right back and would be an instant upgrade to the defence.”

Signing players who will be upgrades on his current options will allow Clement to build a side which not only can qualify for the Champions League proper next season, but also return to the top of Scottish football, ending a four-year wait for a league title.

Much will depend on how much money the Belgian has to spend over the coming weeks, but even a loan deal for the defender could be beneficial, allowing him to bolster his squad without splashing millions in the process.

Hopefully, this new transfer strategy pays off prior to the window closing in a few months, as the plethora of young talent heading through the Ibrox doors is exciting, to say the least.

Could a youthful side built by Clement be ready to challenge Celtic throughout 2024/25 for domestic honours? Only time will tell.

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