Why a new deal for Allan McGregor is the right move for Rangers
The former Scottish international shot-stopper was set to become a free agent in 2020 but he has now put pen to paper on fresh terms to extend his stay at Ibrox by a further 12 months.
The news of McGregor’s new deal comes shortly after the Gers secured the future of manager Steven Gerrard, who poured cold water on speculations over his future with a lucrative new long-term deal at Ibrox until the summer of 2024 on Friday. (h/t Daily Record)
McGregor, who started his professional career at Rangers and previously clocked up more than 250 appearances for the Gers over the course of 11 years before departing for Besiktas back in 2012, sealed a return to his boyhood club in the summer of 2018 after Gerrard took over the managerial reins.
Having played for Hull City in the Premier League and the EFL Championship between 2013 and 2018, the veteran has once again established himself as the undisputed first-choice between the sticks over the past 18 months ever since his return to Ibrox.
The Edinburgh-born star, who is set to turn 38 in January, has been instrumental in Rangers’ success on all fronts this season. McGregor has made a total of 30 appearances for the Gers in all competitions so far this term, shipping only 19 goals and managing as many as 16 clean-sheets in the process.
Besides being a reliable presence in goal in the domestic league, McGregor also played a key role in Rangers’ successful Europa League group stage campaign. The 37-year-old put in a couple of splendid displays between the sticks as the Gers held Portuguese heavyweights Porto to a 1-1 draw away from home before beating them 2-0 at Ibrox on Matchday 4.
To put things into perspective, Allan McGregor has turned back the clock with his consistently impressive displays between the sticks ever since his return to Rangers in 2018 and his contract extension certainly comes as a piece of welcome news to the Ibrox faithful.
As evident from the regular involvement of fellow veterans Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe, Gerrard has made it clear that he is not hesitant to put his trust in the aging stars if they are good enough to do a job for the team and few would argue that McGregor’s new deal is definitely a well-deserved move.
With designated deputy to McGregor, Wes Foderingham, out of contract in 2020 and expected to depart Ibrox on a free transfer (h/t Scottish Sun), tying McGregor down to a new deal was always going to be on the cards.
The veteran has defied his advancing years to deliver the goods between the sticks for the Gers week in, week out, this term and while the long-term goalkeeping situation at Ibrox continues to be a cause of real concern for Gerrard, McGregor’s new deal certainly looks like a perfect solution for the time being.
It is clear from the number of clean-sheets he has accumulated this season that age hasn’t really taken a toll on the 37-year-old, who still seems to have the required level of agility to move quickly between the sticks and pull off some world-class saves on a regular basis.
Indeed, McGregor still looks very sharp and he seems to have enough gas left in his tank to do a job for Rangers for at least another couple of seasons.
With Jak Alnwick and Andy Firth not really in the mix under Gerrard, the Gers will need to groom a new shot-stopper to take over the No.1 role from the veteran moving forward but McGregor’s experience at this level continues to be an invaluable asset to the Ibrox giants.
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All in all, it is easy to see that Rangers have pulled off a shrewd piece of business with a new contract for Allan McGregor and one that could be key to their hopes of ousting Celtic from the domestic throne.