Royal Antwerp have announced Franky Vercauteren as their new boss ahead of their Europa League showdown against Rangers in February, as reported by the Daily Record.

Vercauteren will be no stranger to one member of Steven Gerrard’s side, with the experienced Belgian managing Kemar Roofe at Anderlecht last season.

Roofe joined the Belgian First Division side in August 2019 under a different manager before Vercauteren rejoined his old club for a second permanent spell in October two months later.


Antwerp were forced to move for Vercauteren after previous incumbent to the post Ivan Leko opted to join Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG.

Rangers travel to Belgium to face Antwerp on February 18 before hosting the second leg at Ibrox a week later.

The winner of the two-legged tie will advance to the last 16 stage of the Europa League where Steven Gerrard’s outfit fell to a 4-1 aggregate defeat to Bayern Leverkusen last season.


Roofe integral to Rangers

With 12 goals already this season Roofe is underlining the qualities that persuaded Rangers to take a punt on him.

He will be hopeful that he can face his old boss when the two sides clash in February after picking up an injury in Saturday’s vital Old Firm victory on Saturday.

Roofe was withdrawn at half time of the game at Ibrox where the Light Blues beat Celtic 1-0 to move 19 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

The 27-year-old scored twice for the Gers in the Europe League group stage, with his spectacular goal from the halfway line against Standard Liege the shining highlight of his season so far.

Antwerp beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in their own group earlier this season so it is not likely to be a stroll in the park for Gerrard and co, but if Roofe’s goal against a fellow Belgian league side is anything to go by then they will be well equipped to get past their opponents, should the forward can prove his fitness between now and February’s fixtures.

In other Rangers news, fans express delight at Club 1872 agreement.


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