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Rangers beating Celtic to sign this 21-year-old League One ace would be a shrewd long-term investment

Alfie Doughty has been tracked by Celtic for quite a long time (Getty Images)
Alfie Doughty has been tracked by Celtic for quite a long time (Getty Images)

Why Rangers beating Celtic to land Alfie Doughty would be a real coup

According to The Athletic (subscription required), Rangers have entered the race to sign highly-rated Charlton Athletic starlet Alfie Doughty heading into the January window. 

The 21-year-old had been the subject of two failed bids from Old Firm rivals Celtic in the summer. The Hoops are expected to go back in the market for the versatile left-sided wide player during the mid-season trading period. But the Gers are ready to hijack a potential transfer to Neil Lennon’s side.

However, both Scottish giants face competition from Premier League outfit Fulham in their pursuit of Doughty. (The Athletic)

Profile

A youth exponent of Charlton, Doughty impressed on loan at non-league sides Kingstonian and Bromley before making the step-up to the club’s first-team in the Championship towards the second half of last season. Despite the Addicks suffering relegation, the youngster earned rave reviews for his performances, bagging 2 goals and 4 assists in 29 league appearances. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Alfie Doughty (R) in action against Blackburn Rovers (Getty Images)
Alfie Doughty (R) in action against Blackburn Rovers (Getty Images)

Doughty carried his rich vein of form into the 2020-21 season in League One, registering a goal and two assists in 7 appearances. However, he is currently on the sidelines after tearing his hamstring back in October and is not expected to return to action before late January.

That hasn’t stopped several clubs higher up the footballing pyramid to weigh up a cut-price swoop for the youngster, who is out of contract at The Valley next summer. Rangers successfully beating off competition in the race to sign Alfie Doughty in the winter market would represent an excellent long-term investment for Steven Gerrard’s side.

The Gers snapped up left-back Calvin Bassey from Leicester City in the summer and the youngster has made an instant impact at Ibrox. Doughty looks like a player in a similar mould and has already showcased the potential to reach great heights in his career.

The 21-year-old has evolved from a relatively unknown figure to one of the most highly-rated youngsters in the Football League over the past 14 months. With Rangers currently flying high in the Scottish Premiership, Gerrard should fancy his chances of nabbing him for a knockdown price in January. 

Alfie Doughty established himself as a key member for Charlton towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign (Image credit: Google)
Alfie Doughty established himself as a key member for Charlton towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign (Getty Images)

Doughty started his career as a left-back but has been moved further up the pitch to a wing-back whilst also operating as an out-and-out winger. His qualities have drawn comparisons with Welsh international Gareth Bale, who also came through the ranks at Southampton as a defender but has eventually excelled as a prolific attacker. 

Borna Barisic has been a key creative outlet for Rangers at left-back. But the Croatian international’s future remains in doubt amid interest from the Premier League clubs. Also, with Ryan Kent the only reliable option for Gerrard down the left, Doughty’s versatility could come in handy for the Gers as they look to end Celtic’s stranglehold on the domestic throne.

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Verdict

Alfie Doughty isn’t quite the finished article at 21 but has shown plenty of promise. With his contract at Charlton running out, Rangers should definitely grab the opportunity to snap him up for peanuts this month. Having said that, a potential deal for the Football League star would hand a massive boost to Gerrard’s long-term plans.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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