RANGERS midfielder Glen Kamara has been urged to remain at Ibrox for at least another season and take his game to the next level playing under manager Steven Gerrard and his assistant Gary McAllister in the Champions League.
Kamara, a bargain basement £100,000 signing from Dundee back in January 2019, has become one of the Scottish champions’ most saleable assets as a result of his standout performances both at home and abroad.
The Glasgow outfit, who needed a £23m loan from chairman Douglas Park and vice-chairman John Bennett last year in order to continue as a going concern, are seeking to move to a self-sustainable business model in the near future.
They have a raft of outstanding international footballers who they can cash in on before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
Selling Kamara, the former Arsenal youngster who played for Finland in all three of their Euro 2020 group games this summer, would bank Rangers a multi-million pound profit and help them to balance their books after years of operating at a loss.
In Scott Arfield, Joe Aribo, Steven Davis and Ryan Jack as well as new signings John Lundstram and Nnamdi Ofoborh they are well covered in his position.
But Alex Rae, the former Millwall, Sunderland and Wolves midfield enforcer who played for his boyhood heroes between 2004 and 2006, believes the 25-year-old would benefit from remaining in Scotland for the 2021/22 campaign.
Rae thinks the Finn can improve even further under the expert eye of England legend Gerrard and Scotland great McAllister in the next 10 months – particularly if he features in the group stages of Europe’s premier club competition.
Speaking at the launch of Going for 55, he said: “Steven Davis’ performances were remarkable, but going forward I’d really like to see Kamara stay. If you think back a couple of months ago, before he went to the Euros, Steven Gerrard was championing a long-term contract because he knows what he brings to the table.
“Technically, he is brilliant. He is so athletic and he reads the game brilliantly. He looks to be in a good place. But as a midfielder you are going to get better and better working with Gerrard and Gary Mac. You just know he is going to continue on that trajectory. He has a couple of years left.”
Like most supporters, Rae appreciates why Rangers are likely, as their city rivals Celtic have done for many years, to sell on their best performers, the likes of Borna Barisic, Kamara and Alfredo Morelos, going forward.
Still, he is keen to see them remain and help Rangers, who will play in the first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round at the start of next month, secure a lucrative place in the group stages of Europe’s premier club competition and hold onto the Premiership trophy.
“I understand the speculation,” he said. “You start with Morelos who is the highest value, then you’ve got Kamara and after that Barisic. You have a lot of players there with good value. I would like to see these guys stay because it would help Rangers retain the title.
“I understand the business side of things when players have to get traded. We have this every year with Morelos being linked to moves. The club have been quite strong. There was a substantial bid last summer and I’d expect the same.
“As a fan I would love Morelos to stay. He is the number one striker, he brings a lot to the game, is a physical presence, leads the line brilliantly.
“For the first couple of years it was all about Morelos’s goals, but he has become more of a team player and even though he’s not got the goals I think the team has benefited. I love him – although there’s times I want to strangle him! He is maybe a bit temperamental.
“But in the main he has been brilliant. He has scored 94 goals. That’s a great return for a guy who cost a million quid. I’d like him to stay around a little longer.”
But Rae, who now works in the media and attends Ibrox regularly to work as a pundit for Rangers TV, has no concerns about Rangers being able to build on their first title victory in 10 years and improve even if players are moved on.
“I’m aware the business model is to start doing a bit of trading so there may be a few comings and goings,” he said. “But I think the infrastructure in place now gives them a really good chance.
“The introduction of Ross Wilson gives them that structural organisation which was needed. So I think the structure at Rangers throughout the whole club is healthy.
“There’s half a dozen players who could go for substantial money now. I think there will be a lot more trading as opposed to the board finding that money. Players will come and go and that will allow them to go and recruit others.”
Rae would, however, like to see Connor Goldson, the English centre half who played in every minute of all 56 competitive games last term, sign an extension as his current contract is due to expire in 2022 and he is free to talk to other clubs from January.
“The only concern right now would be Connor Goldson because he’s in the final year of his contract,” he said. “It’s not a business model where they let players run down their contracts. So I’d like to see Goldson signing because he has been outstanding and is a leader.”
‘Going for 55’ tells the story of Rangers’ rise from the Third Division to become Premiership champions in season 2020/21 and is available now, priced at £17.99. It includes contributions from Dave King, Paul Murray, John Gilligan, Ally McCoist and many others.
For more information visit: www.polarispublishing.com