Michael Beale believes John Souttar will be a key player for Rangers next season - but he will still sign another centre-back this summer. 

Souttar has been plagued with injuries across recent seasons but he’s impressed in recent weeks and scored his first goal against Celtic in the 3-0 win last weekend.

Souttar’s partnership with Connor Goldson has shown promise but it’s unlikely to continue against Hibs on Sunday as Goldson is a major doubt with injury - with Leon King expected to deputise if Goldson misses out.

Rangers have been decimated by injuries this season at centre-back and it was a major problem earlier in the season when youngster King was regularly paired with James Sands. 

Understandably, Beale is looking to recruit a new defender in the transfer market to provide ‘athleticism and power’ in that area. 

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Beale confirmed: “We’ve toyed with going to a three at the back because of how John’s played. 

READ MORE: Every word from Michael Beale's press conference

“He needs to show that he can stay fit and healthy. We will add into that area in the summer with Connor, John, Ben (Davies) and Leon (King). 

“We will add to our athleticism and power in that area and that area was damaging to us earlier in the season with injuries - only Leon has been constantly fit.”

Todd Cantwell has shone since arriving in the January window and while Beale has been delighted with the midfielder's contribution - the Ranges boss expects Cantwell to maintain his performance levels moving forward. 

Beale added: "With anyone of Todd’s ability on the ball, if they work as hard out of possession then it’ll be hard for fans not to take them to them - that’s the key message.

"I was speaking to our B-team recently and they always talk about nice things with the ball but he’s surprised with his work ethic. It’s clear to see that we have a good player but it’s very early on in his Rangers career and he needs to underline that next season. I’ve been delighted with him and our personal relationship is really strong."