When the management team was brought in this summer it was obvious to all the support that major surgery would be required to bring that squad up to standard. On a modest budget of around £10 million pounds the manager brought in fourteen new players, Jamie Murphy’s deal was made permanent and we let a similar number leave.
As it’s international break and we have a void to fill this Saturday, I thought I would take a look at those signings who are now approaching around six months at the club.
No better place to start than our number one Allan McGregor Been a solid signing and still capable of outstanding moments, a fantastic goalkeeper and an inspirational signing. A leader from the back with passion and desire to win 10/10
Jon Flanagan joined on a free from Liverpool after his contract was not renewed. Hit the ground running and has proven to be an able deputy on either full back position. Has had some great games, has had some poor games but for a free we have a steady reliable performer. For me a solid 6/10
Borna Barisic arrived from Osijek after scoring at Ibrox in our European tie. Adds natural balance and looks an athletic full back, also possesses a wicked free kick delivery and has 3 assists to his name already. Unfortunately hampered by a nasty thigh muscle rupture which seen him miss the last six weeks. Difficult to judge because he needs a proper run, but all in all I think 6/10 is fair. Much more to come
Connor Goldson started off like an absolute rock at the heart of defence, this boy really can defend and when he keeps it simple he is a star performer. Instrumental in our European progression with solid performances. Has dipped slightly and distribution wayward as he has been forced to make the play in certain games, but doesn’t overshadow a very impressive start at our club. A definite 8/10 for me
Nikola Katic the young Croatian arrived and for the first thirteen games looked like he was a long lost CB partner for Goldson we were craving, solid in the air and good on the ground, both looked a match made in heaven. However, picked up a knock and eventually had to rest vs Villarreal away and has struggled ever since. Worryingly looks short of that confidence and form he once showed, but as a young player there is much more to come. A solid 7/10
Joe Worrall has come in and shown various levels of performance. Not the same chemistry with Goldson that early Katic form showed, but seems to be a solid performer. Not done anything outstandingly bad, not really been brilliant either. Based on games played, he is somewhere between a 6&7/10
Gareth McAuley joined a few days into September and has taken a few months to get up to speed fitness wise after a niggling injury. Played 90 mins reserves at Aberdeen and 45mins at home to Motherwell and strolled both. Looks like he still has it but can’t judge until he is really tested, will fancy himself to stake a claim going forward 5/10 based only on lack of game time not ability
Ovie Ejaria the young lad from Liverpool has shown real talent on the ball during his time so far, capable of taking the ball in tight situations and knocking it about. When he is good undoubtedly so are we and I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves, like many young players though form is unpredictable but a very solid and well deserved 8/10
Scotty Arfield arrived on a free from Burnley. Sometimes it takes him not to be there to see what he brings, that ability to go past the striker and late runs are his trademark, already pitched in with some goals and the boyhood bear will be vital in the run in. Very solid performer 8/10
Lassana Coulibaly joined on loan from France and a little bit of an unknown if truth be told. Early busy performances when he peaked in Europe got a lot of people excited, not at his best when we are on front foot, better in a detailed defensive mood. Lost his form after a nasty injury, but plenty more to come from him. 7/10
Eros Grezda another arrival from Osijek but arrived injured and recovering from a nasty injury which kept him out for Five months. Has suffered from lack of game time and being thrown on in games where we have struggled with short cameos. Showed against Motherwell he does have ability and has plenty time to show it, will need him to step up in coming months. Lack of game time means he is somewhere between 5or6/10
Ryan Kent the young Liverpool winger arrived on loan during the summer and probably not the winger most spoke about with Harry Wilson consistently linked. Started slowly and tentatively but has grown into a vital performer, capable of brilliant moments and was outstanding for a spell before injury hopefully can produce more going forward 9/10
Kyle Lafferty made his return after the usual Rangers transfer saga, seemed to take ages to arrive but a few goals showed he certainly had the ability. Has struggled for form and game time as Alfredo Morelos has excelled, but undoubtedly will play a part going forward. Hopefully can get fit and make a contribution 6/10
Umar Sadiq not a lot we can say to be honest, lambasted by the manager then shoved in at Hampden and produced nothing of note. I hugely doubt we will see anything more of him and pretty sure he will be away back to Roma come January. Probably generous 4/10
Steven Gerrard and the management team Considering the huge job, including huge turnover of players and early European start, I think we are in a pretty good position. The huge positives of the European run and financial gain are huge for the club, they have basically covered the Summers outlay and perhaps guaranteed some funds for January. The league form has been consistent lately even if league performances have not been, considering the youthfulness of the squad this has to be expected.
Gerrard has done a very good job all things considered, League cup Semi a black mark against him and in December his job performance could change on a weekly basis given how massive the month is. But he will relish that challenge
For me he has had a very good start and some performances exceptional, the target now is to take that into this next 7 weeks and ensure we are still there come January break.
I still believe the hype
So onto January and much to my despair the signing rumours have started already! I’d like to enjoy Christmas with the family before the mayhem of January begins. It seems however that this is unlikely because the rumours have begun already.
Rangers will strengthen in January of that we are confident of, an attacking midfielder high on the wish list. So that seems to have got everybody speculating with a host of names already linked and not just attacking midfielders.
Steven Davis is once again being linked with a return move to Ibrox, currently not in the picture at Southampton so that may have legs to it.
Dominic Solanke / Daniel Sturridge are being linked from Liverpool once more, Solanke most likely because he is being allowed out on loan
Lawrence Shankland from Ayr seems to pop up every transfer window these days, the usual claims we are interested etc
Glenn Kamara from Dundee and Jordan Jones from Kilmarnock are names mentioned also, as well as Chris Cadden at Motherwell
Wigan are strongly linked with a move for Lee Wallace as they search for a left back, said to be also eyeing a move for Liam Kelly who has rumoured to have a 50k buy out
I will be honest I can’t verify or validate any of the names above, only the Manager, Andy Scoulding and Mark Allen will know exactly what is going on. Most of these names won’t be news to those of you who read forums and most likely they are lazy obvious links, suppose we won’t really know until the end of January
Rangers have changed remarkably from last January when everybody seemed to know what was going on, we are a much more professional and well oiled machine and those that might hear a snippet now go along with club wishes not to reveal any secrets. This is of course a very good thing and the club should be commended on that.
The exciting thing for us as a fanbase is that when players do sign it’s a nice surprise because often we don’t know very much about them arriving before they are unveiled
The exciting transfer windows are back for the support and I predict January will be similar
Only 7 days until the bears are back, have a good week and enjoy the break
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise 🔴⚪️🔵