Rangers won’t be able to field new signing Oscar Cortes in the Europa League this season.
The Colombian international was signed on loan from Lens on deadline day at the start of this month but only 3 new additions can be made to the squad for the knockout stages. In addition to Cortes, the likes of Leon Balogun, Kieran Dowell and Danilo have been dropped, along with Sam Lammers and Jose Cifuentes. Manager Phillipe Clement said he was faced with a very tough decision as to who to include:
“Sam Lammers is out, so Fabio Silva is in, logical. Cifu is probably out so [Mohamed] Diomande comes in instead of him. Ridvan [Yilmaz] will come on the list. So that means Leon Balogun, Kieran Dowell and Cortes cannot be on the list. That hurts me.
“We have been puzzling for hours with the staff these past few days and you always come to the same conclusions. You cannot keep the balance unless you make these changes. Those are the rules.”
Clement was not happy with the players that Beale picked
The Gers boss said that he wasn’t “totally aligned” with the Europa League squad that was selected by Michael Beale at the start of the season, which was clearly a dig at his predecessor.
Clement also spoke out against the “rule” that UEFA imposes which limits the amount of changes you can make to the squad for the knockout rounds.
When do Rangers next play in Europe?
As the Light Blues finished top of Group C, they have been given a bye through the playoff round, which pits the second-placed teams in the group against clubs entering the tournament from the Champions League.
It means Clement’s side don’t know who their next opponents will be. The round of 16 matches will take place in March, with the first leg on the 7th and the second leg on the 14th.