Ex Celtic star urges former club to keep hold of Rangers linked striker

The one time Hearts, Dundee United and Rangers man was speaking ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Former Rangers and Celtic defender Steven PressleyFormer Rangers and Celtic defender Steven Pressley
Former Rangers and Celtic defender Steven Pressley

Former Rangers, Celtic and Hearts defender Steven Pressley has said keeping a hold of Lawrence Shankland will be a ‘key factor’ for the Jambos’ European ambitions next season.

The Scotland international has been heavily linked with a move to Rangers over the past few months and although a move failed to materialise in January a summer switch could still be on the cards. The Edinburgh side were determined to keep hold of their talismanic forward and captain, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season, but he is approaching the final year of his current Tynecastle contract.

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Pressley, who represented Rangers early in his career and turned out for Celtic following his iconic spell in Gorgie, was back in Glasgow yesterday to preview this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi finals. Rangers face Hearts on Sunday while Celtic take on Aberdeen on Saturday.

Speaking to the press, including our sister title the Edinburgh Evening News, he said: "The last time they [Hearts] experienced Europe, Robbie was in charge. There's no doubt it had an adverse affect on their league form, Aberdeen experienced that this year.

“I think it's a big challenge and it's about achieving it at the right time. Sometimes you can achieve European football too quickly and it has an adverse affect on your following season. It would appear they are beginning to put things in place, good stability around their squad and they seem to have greater depth.

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“A key factor is keeping in Shankland and building from there, and building from there, bringing in players who can support and provide for him. If they can do that then hopefully they can have success but you need a bigger squad. The challenges of playing on a Thursday then returning home and having to reproduce that form is difficult. Many of our clubs have been found out in the past few seasons."

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