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Kemar Roofe scouted as Rangers target brings the killer instinct Gerrard craves

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The name Kemar Roofe is back on the lips of Rangers fans.

The Ibrox side are interested in the Anderlecht forward, who has spent a year in Belgium since leaving Leeds United.

The Jupiler League side paid £7million for his signature, with reports at the time claiming Steven Gerrard also wanted him.

Belgian media claim Rangers have had an opening bid turned down for the 27-year-old, although it's said Anderlecht could yet be convinced to sell at the right price.

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But what would  Gerrard be getting in Roofe?

Record Sport Online takes a closer look.

Who is Kemar Roofe?

Roofe began his career at West Brom but didn't manage a senior appearance for the club, instead cutting his teeth via several loan spells. He spent time in Iceland with Vikingur Reykjavik before returning to England with Northampton Town, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and then Oxford United.

He signed a permanent deal with Oxford in 2015 before Leeds swooped in to sign him for a seven-figure fee just a year later having been named League Two Player of the Year. He made 123 appearances over three seasons, scoring 33 goals.

In August 2019, with his Leeds contract entering its final year, he opted to join Anderlecht, where he has scored seven times in 15 appearances for Vincent Kompany's side.

Where does he play?   (Image: PA)  

Roofe predominantly operated as a striker at Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa, though was occasionally deployed deeper or on the right flank.

His 16 appearances for Anderlecht have all come as a central striker.

What type of player is he?

What's instantly clear watching Roofe is his classic penalty box instinct. Rangers were, at times, lacking the killer instinct needed to put domestic foes away last season and ultimately it cost them the title.

Roofe has a calmness and composure that Gerrard's team so badly needed in the final third, where they came unstuck in matches they were expected to win.

He lacks any imposing stature but his movement and pace ensure he remains a handful for defences.

Roofe is comfortable playing off the shoulder but, especially at Leeds, he would often drop off to drag defenders out of position and create space for team-mates in behind.

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He's adept at bringing other players into the game with his link-up play, with an eye for threading passes in behind when he does drop deeper.

Roofe's two-footedness is also striking. Although stronger on his right side, there's plenty of venom in his left.

He scored a beautiful curling left-footed effort in Anderlecht's 3-3 draw with Gent in October last year, purposely cutting in on to his "weaker" side despite the angle also allowing for a strike with his right.

Off the ball, Roofe was key to Bielsa's high-pressing style at Elland Road. As a lone striker, he acted as the "trigger" who would press the deepest opposition player with his team-mates following up behind him.

It's also a tactic that has been employed at Rangers by Steven Gerrard and Roofe would likely adapt well in that regard.

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He's unlikely to provide the same presence as Alfredo Morelos in unsettling defences, relying more on clever movement as opposed to the bustling style which has made the Colombian so popular at Ibrox.

There are also some question marks over his injury record.

Roofe missed 14 matches through injury last season and another 14 in his final campaign at Leeds, mainly due to an ongoing calf issue.

Historically, it'd be harsh to define him as an injury prone player but his tendency to break down over the last two seasons is worth noting.




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