Sir Alex Ferguson’s continued success at Manchester United was often credited to the fact he would constantly look to improve his squad even if they’d won the title the previous year – and it seems Steven Gerrard is looking to adopt a similar method.
The Rangers boss has already been busy in the transfer market – despite the Scottish Premiership season being ongoing – with KV Oostende striker Fashion Sakala signing a pre-contract agreement at Ibrox.
The Gers are making a habit of doing their summer shopping in the Belgian top flight, and in fairness to them their recent purchases of Kemar Roofe and Ianis Hagi haven’t gone too badly.
Here’s your chance to swot up on everything you need to know about Sakala before he’s even arrived, as 90min provide you with a rundown of everything you need to know about the Rangers new boy…
In committing to join Rangers this summer Sakala will make history in becoming the first ever Zambian to grace the Scottish Premiership.
Subject to international clearance and the granting of a work permit, the 24-year-old will sign a four-year deal at Ibrox with Rangers having fought off stiff competition from Ligue 1 leaders Lille.
Gerrard has already spoken of his delight at having secured the services of the frontman, describing him as exactly the kind of player Rangers need to bolster their attacking arsenal.
Well it was never going to be all good news.
Sakala already has 13 senior caps for Zambia under his belt and he opened his international account against Ivory Coast in a 4-1 defeat back in 2019.
However, on his senior international debut two years earlier he was sent off with less than an hour played in a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria.
Sounds like he’ll compliment Alfredo Morelos nicely.
Just a month prior to his 20th birthday, Sakala secured a move to Russian giants Spartak Moscow.
Despite clearly being impressed enough by the youngster to give him his big break away from Zambian football, Spartak never afforded him a chance in the first team.
Having notched ten goals in 35 appearances for the club’s reserve side, Sakala made the switch to KV Oostende having spent little more than a year in Russia.
Well, they had ‘Rangers’ in their name at least.
Sakala was handed his big break in professional football at Zambian outfit Nchanga Rangers and he didn’t disappoint.
The frontman notched 23 goals in 40 outings for the club and was soon snapped up by fellow Zambian side Zanaco.
A record of nearly a goal every other game was enough to tempt Spartak Moscow into taking a punt on the youngster, but we’ve already discussed how that turned out.
Despite being fast-tracked into the Zambia senior side at just 20 years of age, Sakala had already made ten appearances for the Under-20 side.
The frontman represented his country at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2017 and he was an integral part of their success in the competition, scoring three goals as they were crowned champions of the Under-20 edition of the AFCON for the very first time.
Sakala also represented his country at the Under-20 World Cup later that year and he impressed again, scoring four goals before his side were knocked out at the quarter-final stage.
Sakala has proven his goalscoring credentials at a number of clubs throughout his career, though this season has definitely been something of a watershed moment.
Having secured a move to Belgian football in 2018, the frontman struggled to find his feet at KV Oostende, scoring just 11 goals in 52 appearances during his first two seasons with the club.
However, this season he’s really started to shine and his 13 goals in 28 outings have helped propel the club into the upper echelons of the table.