Why Rangers signing Nnamdi Ofoborh would bolster their midfield
The 21-year-old’s contract at the Vitality Stadium is due to expire at the end of the season and he is free to discuss the terms of his next move with other clubs this month. Rangers, now, have triumphed in their pursuit of the central midfielder, who will move to the Ibrox in the summer. (h/t The Scottish Sun)
Born in Southwark, England, to parents of Nigerian descent, Nnamdi Ofoborh joined Bournemouth’s youth ranks in 2016 after impressing as a trialist. He went on to enjoy a productive two-year spell with the U-18 side and was named Young Player of the Season in 2017-18.
Ofoborh started several pre-season fixtures for the Cherries in 2019 before sealing a loan move to Wycombe Wanderers in League One. The youngster made his competitive debut against Lincoln City and went on to feature 25 times in all competitions last term.
Having made a positive impression on his loan spell, Ofoborh was included in Bournemouth’s first-team squad for the 2020-21 season following the club’s relegation to the Championship. The midfielder made his first-team debut for the Cherries in an EFL Cup tie against Crystal Palace in September and has since featured thrice in the Championship for Jason Tindall’s side.
Rangers’ current midfield scenario
Rangers’ pursuit of a new midfielder had been well-documented in the summer. While Preston’s Daniel Johnson was believed to be the prime target for Gerrard, the Gers were also linked with Patrik Hrosovsky and Dan Glazer from across the continent.
Eventually, though, the Ibrox giants were forced to rope in Bongani Zungu on loan from Amiens as a temporary fix to bolster their midfield. Rangers do have the option of striking a permanent deal for the South African international at the end of the season. But that looks highly unlikely to happen, with the player barely playing a part in Gerrard’s set-up.
However, Rangers still do need to reshape their midfield with one eye on the future. Steven Davis has already played more than 30 games this season, despite turning 36 recently. Scott Arfield, 32, is also not getting younger while Ryan Jack has missed several games due to his struggles with injuries this term.
A good long-term signing?
Putting things into perspective, Rangers grabbing the opportunity to sign Nnamdi Ofoborh on a free transfer can go a long way towards freshening up their midfield with some youthful exuberance. The Nigerian U-20 international showed glimpses of his potential while on loan at Wycombe last season and is held in high regard at Bournemouth.
With Davis and Arfield both nearing their twilight, having a promising youngster like Ofoborh in the ranks would surely come in handy for Gerrard moving forward. He is not quite the finished article just yet, but given his potential, the Nigerian can develop into a quality player if provided with regular playtime.
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Gerrard has had a lot of success in terms of bringing in quality players from south of the border. The likes of Calvin Bassey, Joe Aribo, Arfield, Leon Balogun and Connor Goldson have all established themselves at Ibrox after coming through the door in recent windows. Nnamdi Ofoborh still has plenty of room for development at 21 and would make for an exciting addition to the squad on a free transfer.