Who is Morgan Whittaker? Rangers target profiled as wantaway Swansea star vents frustration at transfer roadblock

The 22-year-old is pushing for a move to Ibrox before the transfer window shuts on January 31.
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With the January transfer window slamming shut in just eight days time, Rangers have yet to conclude business for a trio of targets including Swansea City winger Morgan Whittaker.

Like many Gers fans, the youngster is growingly frustrated by his parent club for putting several roadblocks in place to prevent him from moving to Ibrox.

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Rangers have placed a bid for former Pompey target and ex-Plymouth man Morgan Whittaker.Rangers have placed a bid for former Pompey target and ex-Plymouth man Morgan Whittaker.
Rangers have placed a bid for former Pompey target and ex-Plymouth man Morgan Whittaker.

However, it is their well-documented pursuit of Whittaker that is intriguing many onlookers, with the former England Under-20 cap eager to build on two successful loan spells.

Whittaker took to social media to vent his anger after being recalled by Swansea from his temporary stint at Plymouth by sharing an image of himself and Argyle boss Steven Schmacher accompnied by an angry face emoji on his Instagram story.

He followed that up by posting: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the fans, the players and the staff @argyle. This club is so special to me and some of my best moments of my career happened here. I am devastated that I could not continue here for the whole season.”

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Since then, he has cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines and with temperatures seemingly rising behind the scenes at the Liberty Stadium, both the club and the player will hope to find a solution to the situation in the coming days.

Here is everything you need to know about Whittaker; such as his playing style, discussions surrounding his future and where he fits in to the starting XI:

Who is Morgan Whittaker?

Born in Derby on January 7, 2001, Morgan Reece Whittaker is an English footballer that currently plays for Swansea City in the EFL Championship.

The 22-year-old, who represented England at every youth level from Under-16 to Under-20s, is a product of home town club Derby Couny’s academy where he made his professional first-team breakthrough.

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Whittaker made his senior debut under Dutchman Phillip Cocu in August 2019 as a late substitute in an EFL Cup tie against Scunthorpe United, before making his first start away to Nottingham Forest in the same competition later that season.

He signed a contract extension until June 2023 and was regularly used from off the bench before scoring his first career goal in a 3-1 win over Birmingham City on the final day of the 2019/20 campaign.

Whittaker continued to make frequent substutite appearances before opting for a move to fellow second-tier outfit Swansea City on a four-and-a-half year deal in February 2021, making his debut in an FA Cup match against Manchester City.

After scoring the first hat-trick of his career against Plymouth Argyle in an EFL Cup second round fixture in August 2021 - the first hat-trick scored by a Swansea player since Scott Sinclair in the 2011 Championship play-off final - Whittaker was loaned out to Lincoln City for the second half of the season.

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He returned to the Liberty Stadium in the summer before agreeing to a season-long loan switch to Plymouth. His form in front of goal saw Whittaker awarded the EFL League One Player of the Month award last September, having scored three goals and an assist across the month.

Swansea opted to recall the attacker earlier in the window, much to Whittaker’s frustration, and has not played a single minute of football. It is understood the player would like a fresh start elsewhere in search of regular game time and would be “keen” on a move to Ibrox.

To date this season, Whittaker has made 31 appearances, scoring nine goals and providing seven assists. He leaves the promotion-chasing Home Park club sitting top of the table.

What position does he play?

Morgan Whittaker in action for Derby County ahead of his move to Swansea City. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)Morgan Whittaker in action for Derby County ahead of his move to Swansea City. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Morgan Whittaker in action for Derby County ahead of his move to Swansea City. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

He is predominantly a winger and is capable of playing on either flank or as a second striker.

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Whittaker has featured in a more central No.10 role, but is more comfortable on the wing. Naturally left-footed, he’s technically gifted and enjoys cutting in from the right-hand side.

Is Whittaker close to joining Rangers?

Rangers boss Michael Beale has prioritised signing attack-minded player this month and Whittaker is “certainly a player that I’m aware of.” After seeing two bids turned down by Swansea last week, the Light Blues are reportedly preparing a third offer for the player.

GlasgowWorld understands both clubs remain well apart in terms of agreeing a fee for the 22-year-old. It is claimed the Gers second bid in the region of £1.5million remained well short of the asking price set by Swansea’s American owners who continue to play hardball over a potential sale.

Whittaker’s already rocky relationship with his parent club appears to be deteriorating each day and Rangers could finally look to negotiate a deal that suits both clubs before the end of the window next Tuesday.

What has been said about Whittaker’s future?

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Swansea City manager Russell Martin reiterated his intention to keep Whittaker at the club this month, despite the winger asking not to be included in the matchday squad during Saturday’s match against QPR.

Martin had intended to pick Whittaker for the trip to Loftus Road but the player stated he was “not in the right frame of mind” to play for the club after Rangers had their second bid rejected for him.

Speakng to BBC Sport Wales at the weekend, Martin said: “Nothing has changed. We have not received any new bids and nothing has changed expect for Morgan’s frame of mind. We had agreed he was going to be in the squad and then Morgan told me just after my press conference on Friday that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be in the squad or to travel.

“It is disappointing, we’d have loved for him to be involved. I think he could have made a difference, it would have been a good game for him to come on and be involved in. I can’t see how a deal gets done with how far apart the two clubs are.

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“We have to respect his well-being. I am sure there will be loads of people who will be upset and frustrated by it, but he’s a young man. It just meants it is longer until we can get him on the pitch with us. It’ll be 10 days and then the window will be closed.”

How would he fit into Rangers’ starting XI?

With the contracts of Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos expiring at the end of the season and no signs of progress made on that front, the arrival of Whittaker this month would be viewed as a significant boost for fans.

Michael Beale and Gers sporting director Ross Wilson have been working hard to get new recruits in the door but have yet to announce the arrival of any new additions a full three weeks into the window.

At 22, Whittaker has an exciting future ahead of him and based on his performances for Plymouth during the first half of the campaign he is the type of player that has the potential to become a real fan favourite in Govan.

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Beale also has to decide on whether to take up the club’s option-to-buy clause for Bayern Munich loanee Malik Tillman. Whittaker’s versatility and ability to play anywhere across the forward line would be hugely beneficial.

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