Why Rangers should grab the opportunity to sign Daniel Johnson
The 28-year-old’s contract at Deepdale is due to expire at the end of the season and he has so far refused to put pen to paper on fresh terms. Johnson had been heavily linked with a move to Ibrox this past summer but Rangers had a £1.5million bid rejected by the Lilywhites. (h/t Lancashire Live)
However, with his long-term future still very much up in the air, the Gers are planning to lure him north of the border with a lucrative pre-contract agreement this month. That would see Johnson joining Steven Gerrard’s ranks ahead of the 2021-22 campaign. It has been claimed that the Gers would prefer that stance rather than snapping him up for a knockdown price in January.
Johnson rose through the youth ranks of Aston Villa but never made a senior appearance for the Midlands outfit. He spent time on loan at Chesterfield, Yeovil Town and Oldham Athletic before sealing a permanent transfer to Preston in January 2015.
The midfielder played a key role in guiding the club to promotion in League One and has established himself as a key player in the Championship over the past five-and-a-half seasons.
The 28-year-old enjoyed his most productive campaign last term, where he won the club’s Player of the Year award with an impressive tally of 12 goals and 7 assists in 33 appearances in the Championship.
Johnson has continued to impress as a regular starter at Deepdale this season, registering 4 goals and 3 assists in 18 appearances across all competitions so far.
Putting things into context, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Rangers to convince Daniel Johnson to join the ranks at Ibrox on a free transfer. The Jamaican international boasts an impressive record in the EFL Championship, having accumulated 36 goals and 26 assists in 201 appearances for Preston.
The Gers roped in Bongani Zungu on a season-long loan deal from Amiens to bolster their midfield ranks in the summer after missing out on a deal for Johnson. However, the South African has failed to establish himself under Gerrard, making only a handful of competitive appearances so far. Hence, it would be fair to say that he hasn’t done much earn himself a permanent transfer to Ibrox.
Johnson, to that end, would represent a massive upgrade on Zungu as far as Rangers are concerned. The 28-year-old not only offers a lot with his creativity and goalscoring ability but is also capable of switching between box-to-box and No.10 roles in the middle. Those qualities should make him a perfect fit for Gerrard’s 4-3-3 system.
- Why Dan Glazer to Rangers would bolster their midfield
- Why Rangers should continue their pursuit of Patrik Hrosovskyd
With Steven Davies nearing his twilight at 35 and Scott Arfield (32) also not getting any younger, the acquisition of a dynamic midfielder like Daniel Johnson would undoubtedly hand a boost to Gerrard’s long-term plans.
Rangers need quality alternatives in all departments to continue progressing in the right direction and Johnson would surely represent a real coup on a free transfer.