By Adefunmiloye Alani

10th Sep, 2021 | 10:10am

Barry Ferguson surprised Rangers did not sign Ali McCann

Alistair McCann joined Preston North End from St. Johnstone in the summer, and Barry Ferguson is surprised Rangers did not go after him.

The 21-year-old Northern Ireland international midfielder was one of the best players in the Scottish Premiership last term, helping the Saints win the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup.

McCann moved to the English Championship on summer transfer deadline day, and Ferguson is baffled his old club opted against signing him.

The former Bears ace wrote in his Daily Record column ahead of weekend’s clash between both sides: “Callum Davidson has lost two of his key men after being forced to sell his Jason Kerr and Ali McCann on deadline day.

“Kerr was his captain and as for McCann, I’m just surprised neither Rangers nor Celtic took a punt on him. I’ve watched his career with interest over the last year or so and he has always impressed me.

“It will be interesting to see how he does at Preston. Going down to the Championship is tough. I played in for a couple of years and three games a week is challenging but I’ll certainly be keeping tabs on Ali. Any team will miss players of that calibre, even a St Johnstone team who did phenomenal things last year with their double cup win.”

Needed?

Ex-Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes wrote in his Mail on Sunday column questioning why Rangers did not sign McCann, and it is not a surprise that Ferguson is asking the same question.

The Premiership cannot afford to keep losing its best talents and potential to England, and while the Light Blues should have gone after his signature, the midfield department is not one that manager Steven Gerrard was keen on further strengthening in the summer after getting business done earlier in the window.

Rangers agreed a pre-contract deal with Nnamdi Ofoborh in January before signing John Lundstram and Juninho Bacuna in the summer.

Joe Aribo, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield are also options for Gerrard, and adding another player in the position would have blocked the progress of the young midfielders emerging from the academy.

McCann could have proven to be a fine addition for the Rangers squad, but he was not seen as a priority, and the current team have enough quality depth as it is right now.

In other Rangers news, Bears ace hands Gerrard injury boost ahead of St. Johnstone trip.