Brian Laudrup delivers scathing Rangers transfer verdict as Ibrox hero questions ‘extraordinary’ Matondo absence

The Danish legend has criticised Giovanni van Bronckhorst and the club’s scouting team over a host of new arrivals.

Rangers icon Brian Laudrup has questioned the club’s summer recruitment drive after slamming manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst over a number of his latest signings.

The Dutchman has been in the firing line since the start of the season with three of his new arrivals - Ben Davies, Ridvan Yilmaz and Rabbi Matondo - still yet to break their way into his first-team.

The latter arrived at Ibrox in July after joining from Bundesliga outfit Schalke, having impressed on loan at Cercle Brugge in Belgium last term.

Rabbi Matondo during a UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round match between Rangers and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise at Ibrox Stadium, on August 09, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

After making only two appearances so far this campaign, Matondo was left out of the matchday squad to face Dundee United at the weekend, leading to question marks over the Welshman’s fitness and ability.

Laudrup has been surprised by Matondo’s struggle to break into Van Bronckhorst’s starting line-up and believes the whole situation surrounding the 22-year-old is a cause for concern.

Writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column, he said: “It’s been debated a fair bit recently but, I mean, what is going on there? There are a lot of strange things happening.

“This Rangers squad was infused with fresh blood during the close season but it’s the old guard who are still trying to do the business.

“Against Napoli, it was basically a Steven Gerrard line-up. Then, on Saturday, only Antonio Colak came into the side from the recent arrivals.

“Rabbi Matondo didn’t even make the 20-man squad, which I find extraordinary. The winger didn’t seem to be ill or injured.

“After the United match, Van Bronckhorst spoke of how he simply had to cut his numbers from the European match and so Matondo missed out.

“I had high hopes for the Welshman based on what he did in Belgium during his time with Cercle Brugge last season, but he’s only made two starts in the Premiership and played just over 200 minutes of football.

“Obviously, I don’t see him on a daily basis. I don’t know how he is training or what his attitude has been like, but to not even make the bench for a run-of-the-mill league match is a very concerning state of affairs.”

Laudrup isn’t convinced Van Bronckhorst has had the final say on signings and questioned who is currently in charge of the club’s recruitment.

He added: “That isn’t the only headscratcher. Centre-Back Ben Davies admittedly had some earlier fitness issues, but he is still on the bench.

“So, too, is Ridvan Yilmaz. Was he signed as one of the future? Is he simply not ready to be playing for Rangers yet?

“Given his background at Besiktas and the experience gained there, I find it puzzling he’s made such little impact since arriving in a deal that looked like delivering a real major signing.

“Have the club simply scouted poorly in some instances? Or did Van Bronckhorst, despite his positive words about the window, not get what he actually wanted?

“Did he have full control over who came in? Through his actions, the Ibrox manager is telling these players they are either not good enough or not ready enough.

“There are nine games in October. It’s a huge month with big matches in the Premiership, the Champions League and the League Cup. You need a fully functioning squad to cope.

Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst . (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“If you don’t get these new players integrated and give them confidence, it can become a massive problem later in the season. That’s the worry, and the longer it goes on, the more difficult it becomes.

“If a player can’t get on the pitch or even the bench at home against a Dundee United team who are bottom of the league then when will they?”