Speculation that Rangers are to make a bid for Nottingham Forest striker Jason Cummings is refusing to go away this month… and for good reason.
The ex-Hibs front man may have only moved to the City Ground in the summer, but the 22-year-old has struggled to find his feet in the English Championship.
Cummings has bagged just four goals in 18 appearances for Forest and a managerial change could make his future in Nottinghamshire all the more cloudy.
Former Rangers boss Mark Warburton was in charge when the club signed Cummings for an undisclosed fee in June, although the Englishman later lost his job as the Reds slumped to 14th in the table.
It’s unclear whether new Forest boss Aitor Karanka will fancy the look of Cummings, or whether the Spaniard will bolster his front line with his own additions this month.
One thing is for sure though, Graeme Murty and Rangers should look to capitalise on all this uncertainly… by sanctioning a transfer bid for the striker.
And here’s why:
1. He Was Pretty Special at Hibs
Cummings may have struggled to find the net with much consistency in England’s second tier, but his final campaign at Easter Road was filled with goals, scoring 23 in 39 games.
Granted, this was when the Hibees were still in the Scottish Championship, so he was playing against a lower standard of team than he would be if he signed for Rangers this month.
However, that surely means he will feel he has unfinished business north of the border?
A determination to prove he has what it takes to not only score in Scotland’s top flight again but to become a big name at one of the countries biggest clubs?
Cummings left Edinburgh having scored 55 times in 114 matches, a pretty good record from a player who only turns 23 in August.
2. Alfredo Morelos Needs a Partner
The Colombian striker is currently the Scottish Premiership’s top scorer, with his 10 goals putting him ahead of Scott Sinclair, Louis Moult and Kris Boyd.
However, while Morelos managed an impressive four goals in six games in December, he also went 10 matches without scoring – from the middle of September to the end of November.
There’s no doubting that the 21-year-old knows where the goal is and that has a bright future at Ibrox, but he also desperately needs some help to lessen the burden.
Cummings’ arrival would not only alleviate some of the pressure on Morelos, but the two could form a potent partnership.
He’d also improve on the current back-up options of Eduardo Herrera and an ageing Kenny Miller.
3. He Wouldn’t Break the Bank (We Don’t Think)
While at this stage it’s mere speculation, it’s understood that Forest would be willing to part with Cummings for around £1 million.
Despite making strides in the transfer window in recent years, Rangers still need to be careful with the amount of money they shell out on signings… especially if they have the capabilites of Carlos Pena.
£1 million would take a sizeable chunk out of Murty’s budget, however, Cummings also has tremendous sell-on value and the potential to become a nailed-on regular for the national side.
It’s difficult to think of many players like Cummings, who have ability, experience of Scottish football and youth on their side… along with a manageable(ish) transfer fee.
4. He’d Add a Bit More Scottish Steel
Rangers have already landed Jamie Murphy on a season-long loan this month, with a permanent deal expected at the end of the season.
And with the Brighton winger returning north of the border to play for the club he supported as a boy, there’s no doubting he will do everything in his power to strike up a relationship with the Ibrox crowd.
Cummings may not be a die-hard Gers fan like Murphy (he supported Hearts as a youngster) but he’s always been a player who makes a nuisance of himself, using his remarkably high work-rate to terrorise defences.
Rangers desperately need more players with a steely determination to their game, something Cummings has in absolute spades.
5. He’s the Cum-Dog
— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) April 22, 2017
Can you imagine how well this routine would go down with the Rangers fans?!