Rangers summer transfer window reflections
Here, we look at how Rangers can reflect on their transfer dealings over the past few months.
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Ahh… Deadline Day. 24 hours that has every avid football fan gripped to their phone in anticipation as they await news of potential comings and goings at their club.
It simply wouldn’t be the same without some late drama.
The Scottish transfer window slammed shut last night with clubs across the country conducting business right up until the midnight deadline.
And it proved to be an incredibly busy and exciting window for followers of Scottish football.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard endured a a relatively quiet day with only Cedric Itten and Nikola Katic departing Ibrox on loan deals.
What players did Rangers sign? Nmandi Ofoborh (free), Fashion Sakala (free), John Lundstram (free), Juninho Bacuna
Only four new arrivals have checked in at the Scottish Champions over the summer, with manager Steven Gerrard rightly opting to keep the vast majority of last season’s title-winning squad together.
Nigerian midfielder Nmandi Ofoborh penned a four-year pre-contract agreement back in February but has still to make his debut for the Ibrox club after scans revealed he has been suffering with a heart issue.
Striker Fashion Sakala was another new arrival on a four-year-deal from KV Oostende where he scored 13 goals during an impressive campaign for the Belgian top-flight side last season. Described as a powerful and pacey player, the Zambian international has dropped in and out of the team of late but will increase competition in the Gers forward ranks.
Experienced midfielder John Lundstram joined on a free transfer after leaving Sheffield United in the summer. He has yet to impress the Ibrox faithful in the middle of the park and was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in their Europa League play-off first round leg against Alashkert.
The signing of midfielder Juninho Bacuna was confirmed and during half-time against Alashkert, however the length of contract was not confirmed. After spending the previous three seasons at Huddersfield Town, the 24-year-old will look to earn a starting spot over the coming weeks.
What Rangers players left on loan? Josh McPake (loan > Morcambe), James Maxwell (loan > Ayr United), Ben Williamson (loan > Livingston), Kai Kennedy (loan > Dunfermline), Lewis Mayo (loan > Partick Thistle), Glenn Middleton (loan > St Johnstone), Jake Hastie (loan > Partick Thistle), Cedric Itten (loan with option to buy > Greuther Furth), Nikola Katic (loan > Hajduk Split)
Not many surprises here with Gerrard eager to get a host of his fringe players out playing regular first-team football.
Glenn Middleton has had fleeting spells in and out of Gerrard’s first team, but he has returned to Saints for a second loan spell after spending the second part of last season at McDairmid Park. Middleton was cup-tied and missed out on St Johnstone’s 2020/21 Scottish League Cup triumph but featured in the Scottish Cup final as the Perth outfit completed a historic cup double.
Since joining from Motherwell where he broke through the academy, Jake Hastie has struggled for game-time at Rangers and has been training with the young Gers ‘B’ team. He will hope a successful stint at Firhill under the guidance of Ian McCall can re-ignite his Gers career.
Cedric Itten is another who will have grown frustrated at his lack of game-time. Often playing second fiddle to Alfredo Morelos, the Swiss striker managed to make a significant impact from the bench last season. In search of more regular action, he has taken up the option to move to Bundesliga side Greuther Furth on an initial season-long loan deal with the German club having an option to buy.
Defender Nikola Katic has fallen down the pecking order as a result of his injury troubles, but fans will hope this isn’t the last they’ve seen of the Croatian in a Gers shirt. Katic needs to re-discover his best form at Hajduk Split otherwise his Rangers career could well be over.