Journalist Keith Jackson claimed that Giovanni van Bronckhorst may opt against starting Fashion Sakala up front against RB Leipzig.
Sakala has been somewhat out of favour for Rangers this season, he has featured 27 times in the Scottish Premiership, but just 11 of those appearances have been from the start. This has largely been down to the form of top scorer Alfredo Morelos and backup striker Kemar Roofe being ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, Morelos has seen his season cut short after he picked up an injury whilst on international duty with Colombia, and Roofe is set to miss the Gers’ next two games after sustaining a knee injury.
After the two main strikers for Rangers are set to miss Thursday night’s Europa League clash, whilst writing for the Daily Record, Jackson highlighted the problem for Van Bronckhorst when deciding who should lead the line.
He said (via Ibrox News): “During the second half at Motherwell, it was Scott Arfield and then Joe Aribo who were deployed in that advanced central position.
“It could be that one of them will be thrown into the deep end against Leipzig, assuming Van Bronckhorst has already seen enough of Fashion Sakala to suspect that the Zambian is not yet a natural fit there.
“Sakala did lead the line for Rangers in Braga but operating with his back to goal looked like hard work for a player who wants to drive at opponents from wider areas.
“In fact, given the manner in which Sakala struggled to make any kind of impact that night in Portugal, Van Bronckhorst may think it would simply be too much of a risk.”
TIF Thoughts on Jackson’s comments…
Although Sakala, who is valued at £3.6 million (as per Transfermarkt), has not started a huge amount of games for Rangers this term, he has produced a decent goalscoring record when he has played. In the Scottish Premiership, he has a goal every 181 minutes, which is the fourth-best ratio for his side, while he has the fifth-most chances created (6), as per SofaScore, and considering he has started just 11 games, this is an impressive record.
It may be seen as a risk to play someone who has featured sparingly in such a big game, but Van Bronckhorst does not really have any other options, and it will be a good chance for the 25-year-old to prove himself on the big stage.