Why Rangers have struck gold with the transfer of Kemar Roofe
According to BBC, Rangers have completed the signing of former Leeds United striker Kemar Roofe on a four-year deal from Anderlecht, with manager Steven Gerrard wrapping up some early business in the transfer window.
As a matter of fact, the Gers have also announced the recruitment of Swiss international centre-forward Cedric Itten, who has signed a contract at Ibrox until the summer of 2024.(h/t BBC)
Roofe endured an injury-stricken campaign in Belgium last term following his move across the continent from Leeds United, but still managed an impressive tally of 7 goals in 16 appearances for the Brussels outfit.
The report adds that both Roofe and Itten will join up with Steven Gerrard’s squad after the second leg of Rangers’ last-16 Europa League tie against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on Thursday.
A youth graduate of West Brom, Roofe shot to prominence at Oxford United in League Two during the 2015-16 campaign. A 26-goal haul paved the way for a switch to then-Championship outfit Leeds United in 2016 and Roofe went on to establish himself as one of the best playmaking forwards in England’s second-tier.
The 27-year-old accumulated impressive returns of 33 goals and 14 assists in 122 appearances for the Elland Road outfit over the course of three seasons before departing for Belgian side Anderlecht in 2019.
Over the course of his illustrious stint at West Yorkshire, Roofe not only impressed with his ability to score and create goals but also caught the eye with his versatility to play in multiple positions in the final third.
Why Rangers needed him so badly
Despite star striker Alfredo Morelos racking up 29 goals (12 in the league) across all competitions in the 2019-20 season and old warhorse Jermain Defoe also contributing with 17 goals (13 in the league), Rangers were nowhere near archrivals Celtic in terms of the total number of goals scored in the Scottish Premiership.
Rangers’ tally of 64 goals in 29 games was comfortably bettered by the Hoops, who bagged an astonishing 89 goals in 30 games en route their 9th straight league title.
Given that both teams conceded the same number of goals (19) in the league last season, it’s a no-brainer that Gerrard needed to boost his attacking firepower heading into the 2020-21 campaign to give himself a realistic chance of challenging for the title.
And that is exactly why the arrival of Kemar Roofe comes as a massive boost to the Gers alongside the recruitment of Cedric Itten. Gerrard has hailed Roofe as an ‘intelligent attacker with an eye for goal’, which is a clear indication that the manager rates him highly.
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Kemar Roofe comes through the door at Ibrox as a proven source of goals and assists in the EFL Championship and this looks like a really good piece of business for Rangers, who will be desperate to end Celtic’s domestic domination after enjoying an impressive resurrection under Gerrard’s stewardship.
They already have some quality creative players in Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi, so it will be interesting to see how Roofe links up with them.