Why Rangers should make a move for Vassilis Lambropoulos
According to SDNA, Scottish side Rangers are interested in signing 28-year-old AEK Athens defender Vassilis Lambropoulos. Steven Gerrard’s side, who failed to qualify out of their Europa League group, need to strengthen their defence in January as they turn their attention on the Premiership title.
The Ibrox side also missed out on signing Millwall’s Jake Cooper (h/t Evening Standard), who committed his future to the London club by signing a long-term contract. The Gers have switched their attention to another powerful centre-back, Vassilis Lambropoulos, who could add combativeness and strength to their backline.
Rangers brought in four centre-backs over the summer. However, boss Steven Gerrard is still in the market for another central defender in January. Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic, Joe Worrall and Gareth McAuley all arrived at the Ibrox in August.
Katic has struggled to adjust to life in Glasgow and has been woefully out of form. Worrall is on a season-long loan from Nottingham Forest and the ageing McAuley will be out of contract in the summer. Currently at the top of the table, having played a game more than Celtic, Rangers need a quality player at the heart of their defence to boost their title-winning chances.
Lambropoulos has enjoyed a dream year. The 28-year-old won the Greek Superleague title, knocked Celtic out of Europe and earned his first cap for the Greek national team. Lambropoulos forced his way into the Greek team earlier this year, making his debut in a 1-0 home win against Finland in the UEFA Nations League. He now has two caps to his name after featuring against Estonia and he continues to impress.
Lambropoulos helped crush Celtic’s Champions League dream in August. The 6ft 1in defender picked up an assist as an unfancied AEK side dumped Brendan Rodgers’ men out of the qualifiers. The Bhoys consequently dropped from Europe’s premier club competition to its sister competition, the Europa League.
With his current contract up in the summer, the winter transfer window represents the ideal time to make a swoop for the player.
Lambropoulos came through the Olympiakos ranks. He made just a single appearance for the Piraeus-based side, moving to Asteras Tripolis, Ethnikos Asteras and Panionios before joining AEK Athens in 2014. He has since emerged as a late bloomer.
Lambropoulos would probably represent more of a risk since he has no previous knowledge of the Scottish league and is relatively known. A move to the Ibrox would also represent a significant step-up on quality than the Greek league.
However, as he showed us against Celtic earlier in the summer, he can step up when called upon. His current contract situation would also lower his signing fee thus reducing the risk factor even further. Lambropoulos’ aggressive style marks him out as a fine alternative to Cooper.
A move to the Scottish capital would be an ideal move for all the parties involved. He could help shore up Rangers’ leaky defence that has already let in 14 goals in just 17 league games. Thus, Gerrard should waste no time in getting the deal done.