Why Rangers should reignite their interest in Kevin Nisbet next summer
Back in November 2019, a report from Football Insider (h/t The Scotsman) had claimed that Rangers were keeping close tabs on Kevin Nisbet, who was then plying his trade with Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Championship. However, he eventually poured cold water on his links to Ibrox by completing a move to the top-flight with Hibernian in the summer.
Nisbet started his footballing education with Hibernian before completing his development at Partick Thistle. He started his professional career in the Scottish Premiership during the 2015-16 season but failed to make much of an impression.
Nisbet spent time on loan at East Stirlingshire in Scottish League Two, as well as at Ayr United and Dumbarton in the Championship to further his development. He then joined Raith Rovers in Scottish League One in the summer of 2018 and racked up a career-best tally of 34 goals in 46 outings in 2018-19.
The 23-year-old Scot followed it up with an impressive tally of 23 goals in 32 games for Dunfermline Athletic in the second-tier in 2019-20 before completing a move to Hibernian this past summer. Nisbet has hit the ground running in the Scottish Premiership this season, scoring 7 times in 10 league appearances so far.
Nisbet would be a handy addition to Rangers’ striking ranks
Rangers roped in Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe in the summer window to bolster their options in front of goal. While Roofe has already made a positive impression at Ibrox and recently scored an absolute blinder in the Europa League, Itten has struggled to live up to the expectations.
The Swiss international came through the door at Rangers with the reputation of being a bonafide goalscorer in his homeland. But the 23-year-old has only managed to find the net twice in 12 appearances in all competitions, with both of those strikes coming in the 5-1 rout of Motherwell back in September.
Itten’s lacklustre performance in the recent 1-0 win over Kilmarnock drew widespread criticism from the fans and pundits alike.
Gerrard still has Alfredo Morelos as his undisputed first-choice No.9. The Gers managed to keep hold of the Colombian in the summer amid widespread interest in the striker’s services from all over the continent, but they could eventually end up losing him in the near future.
That, coupled with the fact that Jermain Defoe is nearing his twilight at 38, means Rangers will surely need to look for a new striker as a part of their long-term plans if Itten continues to underwhelm. Reigniting interest in Kevin Nisbet, to that end, would be a smart move given the 23-year-old has already made a successful transition to the Scottish top-flight with Hibernian.
Nisbet has come a long way since his failures at Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership earlier in his career. The Glasgow-born forward has benefitted hugely from honing his skills in the lower divisions and is now firing on all cylinders at the highest level.
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The 23-year-old has quickly established himself as one of the best young homegrown players in Scotland this season and still has his best years ahead of him. Rangers should start to keep a close eye on his development once again and follow it up with an official bid next summer.
That would allow Nisbet enough time to fully get to grips with the Scottish top-flight and the Gers would then have a more polished striker on their hands.