Mark Hateley: Rangers need two new strikers who can outscore James Tavernier
Former Rangers striker Mark Hateley believes his old club need to sign two forwards who can outscore James Tavernier or they will not stop Celtic dominating Scottish football.
Right-back Tavernier was the club’s top league goalscorer last term with 16 goals and his total in all competitions of 18 was the same as Antonio Colak.
Fashion Sakala and the now departed Alfredo Morelos both hit 12 while Celtic’s main striker Kyogo Furuhashi weighed in with 34 goals on the way to the club’s fifth treble in seven seasons.
Hateley said: “We need two strikers that can score more than a right-back to win anything. It’s as simple as that.
“We need strikers that can get more goals than the captain to have a chance of competing at the very top. And that doesn’t come cheap.
“I think you need to bring in three strikers that are all credible and can produce.”
Colak’s future looks unclear after he only scored four goals and struggled for fitness following Michael Beale’s arrival, while Sakala played in a central role at times and on the wing on other occasions.
On Sakala, Hateley said: “He’s a young lad so he will develop as time goes on but if you are working with top goalscorers, your game comes on a lot quicker. I think he would probably become more of a squad player.
“The key now is to get two strikers in the team. It’s now easier because Alfredo has left the club because it was always difficult to play another player with Alfredo. He was the lone wolf with players playing around him but Michael now has the ability to play with two strikers, different formations.”
Hateley does not necessarily believe Ange Postecoglou’s departure from Celtic Park to Tottenham is in itself an opportunity for Rangers.
“You could say so but the structure that Celtic have in place, I don’t think a lot will change,” he said.
“I don’t know if Ange can take players with him but what Ange has done has been absolutely phenomenal, and the way the board have trusted him in his methodology and his way of thinking has been commendable.
“Top coaches like a challenge and they like to challenge the best. Ange has produced that. It’s always great competition, if you have two great teams on the pitch who are competing to prove who has the edge, and it’s the same with managers. You need managers to push each other.”
Hateley was promoting the Glasgow European Capital of Sport 2023 Refugee Football Tournament, which will feature players from more than 50 nations at Toryglen Regional Football Centre on July 2.
The former England striker said: “Refugees are coming to all different parts of the world and trying to find homes and friendships and where better to come than Glasgow, Scotland? Always welcoming, hence why I am still here.
“Football is a medium where friendships are built so it’s an important factor. It’s a fantastic initiative.”