ANY post-mortem of Rangers’ failed Scottish Premiership title defence last season would surely zoom in on the side’s lack of clinical edge.

For the large majority of the campaign, they were reliant upon strikers who would later break down with injuries. Steven Gerrard leaned on the goalscoring prowess of Kemar Roofe in the early months of the season, only for the Jamaica international to break down with persistent injuries at the beginning of winter. Giovanni van Bronckhorst then rejuvenated Alfredo Morelos in front of goal before the Colombian’s season was cut short in mid-March through injury.

With Fashion Sakala Jr. evidently wet behind the ears, it left the Ibrox faithful pining for a goalscorer in the mould of a player who ironically departed the club midway through the season.

Jermain Defoe’s Rangers career merited a greater send-off than his backdoor exit in January, but the outpouring of well-wishes for the former England international underlined his goalscoring contribution.

Indeed, the veteran striker averaged just over a goal a game for Rangers in the 2019/20 league campaign, netting a pair of hat-tricks as he proved the perfect solution to the problems Rangers often face in the Scottish Premiership.

When the Gers slumped to a 1-1 draw at Tannadice in the second half of last season, it was exactly the type of game where Defoe would have thrived. Rangers created an abundance of chances, but they lacked a clinical touch in front of goal.

Enter Bas Dost, a 33-year-old Dutchman who is available on a free transfer this summer.

The forward spent the last year-and-a-half with Jupiler Pro League champions Club Brugge in Belgium, netting 12 goals in just 25 league appearances last term.

In fact, when Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes was asked to construct his ‘perfect player’ in 2020, he crowned Dost as the ‘best finisher’ he’s ever played alongside. Fernandes, of course, has played extensively with Cristiano Ronaldo at international level.

Rangers are likely to be a realistically attractive proposition for Dost as he assesses his options this summer given the Dutch links within the current coaching staff at Ibrox.

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History also tells us that van Bronckhorst has enjoyed success playing with a physically-imposing target man. Nicolai Jorgensen played over 2,600 league minutes when van Bronckhorst led Feyenoord to the Eredivisie crown in 2016/17. At 6ft2, the Dane acted as a focal point to pivot around for his side, while also netting a healthy 0.64 goals per 90 throughout the campaign.

Providing Morelos extends his stay at Ibrox, Rangers are not in the market for a permanent solution in the central striking position. In that sense, Dost could supplement the Colombian perfectly given the specific role he fulfilled at Club Brugge.

Of the Dutchman’s 25 league outings in Belgium last season, 14 were as a substitute, making up over half of his total appearance figures in the league.

Dost was typically unleashed in the final 20 minutes of games as Club Brugge searched for a goal, although he was called upon at half-time on three separate occasions in the league last season.

At 6ft4, Dost’s remit for Club Brugge was to occupy the penalty area and convert crossing opportunities into goals. His heat map from his league appearances last season underlines his comfort within the parameters of the penalty box.

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Crucially, the Dutchman operated in an environment which was not too dissimilar to Rangers in Belgium last season. Club Brugge enjoyed the second-highest share of possession in the Jupiler Pro League last term (56.3%), while they also delivered the second-highest number of crosses (15.78) behind only Genk. Dost thrives on operating on the shoulder of defenders, looking to buy a crucial half yard to arrive ahead of defenders when his team fashion a crossing opportunity.

As Club Brugge work the ball down the right, Dost has deliberately strayed into an offside position.

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As the move develops into the final third, it means the Dutchman has pushed his marker deep into the penalty area, effectively reducing the situation to a 1v1 battle.

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His side combine intelligently on the edge of the area to send an attacker through on goal down the right-hand side, which immediately prompts Dost to make his movement off the defender.

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When the ball is pulled across, the Dutchman has the easiest of finishes.

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By ensuring he’s always ahead of play, it allows Dost to consistently get on the end of high-quality chances.

READ MORE: Would Bas Dost be a good Rangers transfer? - video debate

In addition, the Dutchman is always keen to get across goal from crossing opportunities, as opposed to tailoring his movement for pull-back opportunities.

As his side create a crossing situation in the example below, Dost has ample space inside the penalty area to check his run for a cut-back to the penalty spot.

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However, he continues to gamble on the blind side of the defender…

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…Which allows him to cushion the ball into the net from point-blank range as the ball is flashed across goal.

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Dost is always prepared to gamble into the six-yard area, which should provide clarity to his teammates looking to supply him.

Equally, the Dutchman’s ability to read the trajectory of the ball perhaps explains his historical success from crosses.

Again, as his side pick up possession on the edge of the penalty area in space, Dost is positioned between the two defenders in the danger area.

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He begins his movement towards goal looking to attack the six-yard box…

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 …Before checking his run as the cross looks to be under hit.

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His early movement allows him to glance his header into the bottom corner from a difficult angle.

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The Dutchman comes alive when the opposition are pinned deep. Where so many strikers struggle to fashion the required space in compressed areas, Dost’s penalty box intelligence is a defining feature.

It is a rare trait among those in his position currently, with many strikers just as comfortable operating outside of the penalty area as they are closer to goal.

At 33, Dost could provide an effective short-term solution as Rangers aim to overpower Celtic and wrestle back the Scottish Premiership title.