By Daniel Lewis

17th Nov, 2023 | 5:10pm

Chris Jack urges Rangers to follow Celtic lead by signing Hearts ace Lawrence Shankland

Journalist Chris Jack insists Rangers should follow the example of Celtic by signing more Scottish talent, such as Hearts ace Lawrence Shankland.

The 28-year-old has 10 goals for Hearts in all competitions this season and was on target for Scotland in their 2-2 draw with Georgia on Thursday (16 November).

Rangers have been linked with Shankland in the past without actually signing the versatile forward, but Jack believes the January window is the perfect time to do so.

Speaking on the Rangers Review podcast [17 November, 2m 26s], Jack said: “There’s no shame in going to pick out a gem from America, like [Jose] Cifuentes, and turning them into a player.

“There’s also no shame in picking up the best of the Scottish talent – it’s something Celtic did for a long, long time. Look at Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven, Ryan Christie.

“That market, it’s on your doorstep, you know what they bring, you’ve seen them play – I just don’t see why Rangers don’t do that more.”

Jack added: “It’s a no-brainer for me. Rangers should have signed this boy a long time ago, but if a deal can be in January, then it should be done.

“Sometimes these things are a bit of a no-brainer. You’d imagine Hearts would be thinking two million or so it would take to get Shankland. If it gets to three, three-and-a-half or four then you’d probably say no.

“But around about that level of outlay just ticks a lot of boxes for Rangers. One, in terms of being Scottish, but also for what he brings. He scores goals, he knows the league, he knows the club – I just don’t see why it’s not been done.

“It makes a lot of sense for Rangers, and I’d be surprised if that’s not one the club are looking at. Good Rangers teams of the past have had a core of Scottish players, which has been lost in recent years.”

Change of approach

Rangers spent a lot of money in the summer to rather mixed success, when Shankland was sat right there waiting to be signed for a smaller fee than someone like Sam Lammers.

The Gers have recruited the likes of John Souttar and Scott Wright in recent years, but there is no doubt they could do with signing some more Scottish talent.

There may well be a premium from buying from a rival club, but it would still be a low-cost, low-risk approach in many cases.

Even if Hearts ask for a fee in excess of £3m for Shankland, that would still be good value for money as he has showed exactly what he is capable of at this level.

With a new sporting director set to be appointed in the next few weeks, it will hopefully mark the start of a different approach to transfers.

In other Rangers news, a first-team player suffered yet another setback while away on international duty.