“Has earned a move” – Rangers lining up transfer for 24-year-old impressing in the EFL: The verdict | OneFootball

“Has earned a move” – Rangers lining up transfer for 24-year-old impressing in the EFL: The verdict

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Football League World

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Bolton Wanderers’ attacker Dapo Afolayan is being lined up as a replacement for Ryan Kent at Rangers, according to journalist Alan Nixon.

Afolayan enjoyed a stunning season for the League One club – scoring 14 times and providing seven assists  – and has been linked with a move to Ibrox.

He’s said to be seen as a replacement for Kent, who has been linked with the exit door, but would that be a good signing for Rangers? And is he ready to step up to the SPFL?

We quizzed our FLW writers for their thoughts…

Marcus Ally

Dapo Afolayan has earned a move above League One level for his performances for Bolton Wanderers this season.

Whether Rangers represents that is up for debate, the Gers produced an outstanding Europa League campaign, but finishing second in the Scottish Premiership means they will have to go through the grueling Champions League qualification process.

The standard of the Scottish top-flight is similar to the third tier, the top end of League One is probably better than the bulk of the Scottish Premiership at the moment, therefore it is hard to count this move as a step up domestically, but there will be the pull of European football.

It would be a smart addition for Rangers, the versatile forward was too hot to handle in the first half of the season and could adjust well to a new league.

Although, it may take him some time to hit the consistent performance levels Kent has sustained in recent years.

Josh Cole

Whereas Afolayan did manage to produce a host of impressive performances in League One last season, Rangers would be taking a bit of a risk by making a move for him this summer.

Yet to play in the top flight in Scotland, the winger may take some time to adapt to life in this particular division.

When you consider that Ryan Kent has provided 54 direct goal contributions at this level during his time at Ibrox, there is no guarantee that Afolayan will be as effective if he is drafted in as the winger’s replacement.

Instead of taking a punt on Afolayan, it could be argued that Rangers should be looking towards the Premier League and the Championship for players as they aim to launch a bid for the title next season.

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Simmey Hannifin-Donaldson

Oladapo Afolayan is clearly a talented player and if Rangers believe he can reach Jack Kent’s levels they should go for it.

Having scored 14 goals and laid on seven assists in 2021/22, the 24-year-old is coming off the back of a good campaign in League One and his performances have certainly warranted a step up in levels.

With Bolton having finished ninth in League One, that step up in levels will not be coming with them and so Afolayan looks likely to leave the club this summer.

Rangers are a big club and it would be a big step up if the move were to happen, but one that Afolayan is more than capable of taking successfully if given time to do so.

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