Rangers should consider Pennington to replace McAuley

Rangers could be on the hunt for a new centre-back this summer with Gareth McAuley out of contract in the coming weeks. The 39-year-old struggled for playing time at Ibrox after signing a one-year deal in 2018 and will be released on a free transfer at the end of July.

Steven Gerrard will be left with only Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic at centre-back next season, so a replacement will be required. Matthew Pennington is one player who should be on Rangers’ radar as he’s an attainable target who would improve the squad.

The 24-year-old could be moved on from Everton after struggling for first-team football. Pennington has made only nine appearances in all competitions for the Toffees since 2016, the last of which came against Leicester City on April 9, 2017.

With the £15k-per-week defender failing in his bid for regular playing time at Everton, Pennington spent time on loan at Tranmere Rovers (17 appearances), Coventry City (25 appearances), Walsall (five appearances), Leeds United (24 appearances) and Ipswich Town (31 appearances).

For Ipswich last season, the former England u19 international won 144 aerial duels (61%), averaged 44 passes-per-game, blocked 53 shots/passes/crosses, made 173 clearances, gave away only 21 fouls and averaged a tackle (52) or interception (80) every 20 minutes.

Pennington still has two years left on his deal at Goodison Park, but his lack of playing time in recent years could see Everton push him out the door.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

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