Rangers: Beale must ditch Helander

Glasgow Rangers manager Michael Beale could be set to face an exodus of first-team players from Ibrox unless he and Ross Wilson act fast to tie them down to long-term deals.

The likes of Ryan Jack, Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent are out of contract at the end of the campaign and are valuable assets for the club who can’t allowed to be let go for nothing.

Others such as Steven Davis, Allan McGregor and Scott Arfield may be released come the end of the campaign, which would lower the wage budget and give Beale the chance to fill his squad with younger talent.

The majority of decisions seem fairly straightforward, but with Filip Helander also out of contract, that could give Beale the biggest headache in terms of whether or not to offer him a new deal.

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The latest update on the Swedish centre-back from Football Insider claims that he is not expected to play for Rangers again, especially following Beale’s announcement that the 29-year-old will miss another three months of the campaign.

He hasn’t featured at all this term due to an injury he suffered at the tail end of 2021/22, and with the player earning £14k-per-week, it represents a colossal waste of money for someone who is now unlikely to play until next season.

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It marks a low point for the Swede, who was amongst the club’s finest players when he was fully fit, and he formed an excellent duo with Connor Goldson when the Ibrox giants strolled to the Premiership title two years ago.

In that season, Helander received a Sofascore rating of 7.1/10 across 22 appearances, averaging 63.4 touches per game while making 1.7 tackles, 2.2 clearances and 0.7 interceptions per match.

He won an impressive seven duels per game at a success rate of 68% and was only dribbled past 0.4 times per game, displaying his physical presence and keeping 13 clean sheets during his 22 matches.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard reacts after the match

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This led to interest from Premier League club Aston Villa last year as Steven Gerrard looked to reunite with the player, yet his latest injury woes would make a transfer to the English top flight now seem unlikely.

Beale has described the Swede as a “big asset to Rangers”, but following the recent injury update, Helander’s four-year association with the club appears to be over.

However, despite missing 109 matches for the Light Blues, his performances during the title-winning season will surely be remembered well by the Ibrox faithful.