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Kyle Lafferty will be Rangers’ centre of attention

Former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram believes Kyle Lafferty can fill the void left by Kris Boyd's departure by netting 25 goals next season.

Goram rates Boyd as the biggest loss to Walter Smith's squad in a summer that has also seen Kevin Thomson, Nacho Novo, DaMarcus Beasley and Stevie Smith depart.

The Rangers manager is still attempting to buy his first player for almost two years after being turned down by Burnley winger Chris Eagles.

But Goram is convinced Lafferty can solve one problem for Smith after a slow start to his Rangers career following his £3million-plus move from Burnley in 2008.

The Northern Ireland international has generally failed to shine in a wide role, hitting just three goals last term until the start of April. But he netted five times in the final seven matches, including the goal that clinched the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title, in a more central role.

Smith has promised the 22-year-old he will get the extended run in the centre-forward role he craves and Goram is confident Lafferty will seize his moment.

Goram said: “Everyone has their own opinion about Boyd and his workrate but the goals he has scored are absolutely phenomenal.

“You're looking at 30 goals a season. That's where Kyle has got to step up now — he has got a great chance.

“The last four or five games he played for Rangers I thought he was fantastic up front on his own.

“He led the line well and scored his goals.

“I can see him getting 20-25 goals because he's in the position he wants to play.

“There are no excuses now, he's happy and I think he'll be okay.”

While Rangers could do little to stop free agent Boyd leaving for a lucrative Middlesbrough deal, Smith and chief executive Martin Bain both agreed that Thomson's £2million departure was in the club's best interests.

Smith had fired out a warning just a few days earlier that Rangers were susceptible to bids for any of their players, like Thomson, who was entering the final year of his contract.

Belfast Telegraph


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