THE players on the fringes of the Rangers first team are the ones most likely to be moved on this month. Selling or loaning out those who are currently regular starters in Ally McCoist's side would be ill-advised.

The quality on the park would suffer, progress could be impeded and supporters might become disillusioned.

But offloading individuals who are not featuring often - or, in some cases, at all - would help to cut costs.

Dean Shiels, who made his first appearance in over four months at the weekend, certainly falls into the category. And there are clubs interested in securing his services.

However, Shiels suggested with his performance against East Fife on Saturday that he is capable of featuring for Rangers every week.

The Northern Ireland internationalist has struggled with injuries at Ibrox and has never been able to showcase his talents properly.

The former Hibs and Kilmarnock man, though, is now fully fit so that could all be about to change.


HE has never quite displayed the best of his game during his time at Ibrox, but that does not mean that Shiels should be considered surplus to requirements.

Injury has hampered his progress and he suffered, like most of the players, from the difficulties Rangers endured in preparing for and coming to terms with last season's Third Division campaign.

Now that he is fit again, Shiels can contribute ability and creative instincts that set him apart from the rest of the attackers at Ibrox. Andy Little is a bustling, industrious presence, Nicky Clark is best playing off the shoulder of the last defender, and Jon Daly is a classic striker, with height and strength.

Shiels is more mobile, more adept at dropping into gaps between the opposition midfield and defence, and he has the guile and deftness to carve out openings for others as much as for himself. He can also finish with aplomb.

Against packed and deep defences, Shiels can still be effective in tight situations, and Rangers need that kind of creativity.