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Rangers signing this 23-year-old African ace on a free transfer would be quite a coup by Gerrard

Anderlecht's Killian Sardella and Oostende's Fashion Junior Sakala fight for the ball during a soccer match between KV Oostende and RSC Anderlecht, Friday 28 August 2020 in Oostende, on day 4 of the 'Jupiler Pro League' first division of the Belgian championship. BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Why Fashion Sakala would be a real coup for Rangers on a free transfer

According to the Daily Record, Rangers are weighing up a pre-contract move for KV Oostende striker Fashion Sakala in the January window. 

As per the report, Gers boss Steven Gerrard has received glowing reviews from his scouting team in Belgium about the 23-year-old’s performances. The 13-cap Zambian international’s contract at Oostende is due to expire at the end of the season, leaving the door open for the Ibrox giants to discuss terms with the forward.

Profile

Sakala started his career with Nchanga Rangers and Zanaco in his native Zambia before moving to Europe in 2017 with Spartak Moscow, where he only featured for the club’s reserve side in the second-tier. A year later, he was snapped up by Belgian top-flight outfit KV Oostende and the pacey marksman has carved out a reputation for himself. 

The Chipata-born forward bagged 8 goals and 3 assists in 28 league outings for Oostende last term and has once again hit the ground running with 5 goals and an assist in 15 appearances so far this season. Sakala’s rise to prominence in Belgium, coupled with his unresolved contract scenario, has also attracted interest from Newcastle United and West Ham in the English top-flight. (h/t Daily Record)

Genk’s Joakim Maehle Pedersen and Oostende’s Fashion Junior Sakala fight for the ball during the Jupiler Pro League match between KRC Genk and KV Oostende, Monday 28 September 2020 in Genk, on day 7 of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ first division of the Belgian soccer championship. (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangers negotiating a pre-contract agreement with Fashion Sakala this month would be a shrewd piece of business. The Zambian has already started to deliver on his potential in Belgium and could prove to be a useful addition to Gerrard’s ranks at Ibrox. 

The Gers are currently very well-stocked in their options up top, especially after the acquisition of Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten in the summer. Roofe has quickly established himself as a key player at Ibrox, scoring 12 times in 20 appearances across all competitions. His impressive form has reduced the workload on the shoulders of Alfredo Morelos, who has been less prolific as compared to the last couple of seasons. 

Sakala, though, could still offer some real depth and quality in front of goal as far as Rangers are concerned. While essentially a centre-forward by trade, the Zambian is also capable of operating as a wide attacker on either flank. 

Oostende’s Fashion Junior Sakala celebrates after scoring during a soccer match between KV Oostende and Royal Excel Mouscron, Sunday 04 October 2020 in Oostende, on day 8 of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ first division of the Belgian championship. (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

With back-ups Greg Stewart, Brandon Barker and Jordan Jones offering very little, Sakala’s arrival would hand a significant boost to the Gers’ forward line heading into the 2021-22 campaign. Jermain Defoe is nearing his twilight at 38, meaning Rangers can certainly look forward to having a promising young striker like Sakala competing for places in their ranks.

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Verdict

The Belgian top-flight has nurtured some top-quality strikers like Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke. Fashion Sakala still has a lot to do to get anywhere close to those names but his early potential certainly points to a bright future in the game. Having said that, the Zambian is more than worth a punt for Rangers, especially on a free transfer. 

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

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

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