Rangers linked to former Derby, Middlesbrough & Stoke defender


As if from left-field, a sudden
and dramatic development at Ibrox has come from nowhere with the strong rumour
that former Derby County defensive midfielder and current free agent John Eustace is to be
Mark Warburton’s second signing following Rob Kiernan.
And the further speculation is
pressing the issue that he has been selected as captain by the new manager.

Eustace is a veteran of English
Championship football, and at age 35 he is far from a spring chicken, but while
age is not on his side, he is a midfielder with a fairly solid and reliable
reputation of a leader and dependable at his job.
He previously tasted Scottish
football during a loan spell at Dundee United and is extremely experienced at
the tough level that is the English Championship, with spells at Watford,
Stoke, and as mentioned, Derby. He did feature in the EPL for Coventry 15 years ago.
Unexpected turn of events if this
one bears out.


  1. Clearly 2 steps backward if this one bears out.
    Warburton told us a little about his philosophy which was in part to bring in players who brought worth to the club on and off the field not second rate 35 year olds (no
    disrepect to the man). If we need an older man in our defense we would be better off getting Weir to put his boots back on
    I can't see this story being true and would be very disappointed if it was.

    • I agree Donald, I don't see the need for this type of signing. If we get Allan and Wilson, they're already experienced heads even if they're still youngish.

    • Yous folk talk pish. Just for the hell of it. He clearly stated he would have a young squad. With one or 2 older players to help them through. Doesn't matter if the guys 31 or 37. It's all about how good he is. Bet not one person that's commented on h has ever seen that lad kick a baw.

    • Hearing him talk he doesn't sound like he'd be a captain who'd get listen to he's so softly and we'll spoken and can't imagine him getting mad but I seen some of his vids on YouTube seems decent and good at a bicycle kick lol then again you tune vids make any player look good . And btw everyone saying he's doing a better job at picking players than ally mccoist did is dilusional, ally never had 20 million quid to choose who he wanted he had no choice to go and look out for older experienced free or cheap players . And no one's even seen Warburton set his team and play yet and everyone raving on about how good he is… I wonder how they'll respond of he losses and draws first few games . Everyone needs to calm down and be realistic!

    • @hero 1690. Your right I know nothing about Eustace except that he is reportedly a good quality English Championship level midfielder with a history of injuries, coming towards the end of his career.
      I hope if he comes here he is a sensation but at best he could last a couple of seasons and although I believe that we seriously lacked leadership on the field last year I worry that signing Eustace could reduce the chance of even trying to get Scott Allan or Lewis McLeod and would almost certainly reduce the appearances of Andy Murdoch.
      Maybe because of the disasterous results from signing older players over the last few years I'm over cautious, and I know you need experience in every team, but this seems like a potentially wastefull and costly (in wages) signing. Still I would be very happy to be wrong and was as you say so eloquently, talking pish.

  2. We don't need any 35 year olds. We are meant to be re-building a team,not having one last "hurrah" We need to blood youngsters and buy players with a few years left in them. WATP

  3. 35. Without a club. Out since January. Still recovering from knee surgery…. "cornerstone" "fulcrum" "driving force" "priority target". Who's kiddin who here?

  4. David Weir was 36 years old when he came to Rangers as a player,,and was solid,, but as a defender, you can get away with being a bit older as your not relying on pace as much as a midfielder or striker. I am intrigued, more than excited at the minute about all the specualtion of possible signings going to be made,,again, media frenzy,, but I'm going to give Warbuton and Weir the benefit of the doubt at the moment,,give them a chance to get organised,,but I am intrigued.

    • Age did Paul schools play till. Retired then came back and won a prem. stop talking rubbish. Doesn't matter what age they are. Only thing that matters. Is he good enough. If wee sign a 36 year old striker and he scores 30 goals this year. Are you gony be disappointed ? Don't hink so.

  5. tbh this is the sort of signing we should have made at the start of last season — a seasoned pro to keep things solid at the back. In the context of the league we're trying to get out of, I have no problems with this player. Warburton's seen him and knows what we'll get.

    • The Gers defence was full of old heads last year.McCulloch was 36!!
      In fact the team was like Dads Army.
      Eustace is at retiral age, and had the type of injury which, at his age, usually sees the player hang up his boots.
      I'm afraid it looks as if Kings statement about overspending to bring in the right quality is yet another porky from him.
      Between Eustace and Kiernan, a player who had 12 clubs by the age of 24!!, things don't look good at all.

  6. Honestly is king having a laugh…spend some of the money you promised on decent young players not old has beens…..we all should refuse to buy our season tickets until the guy at the top shows us the colour of his money…..I'm beginning to wonder if he has any…..seriously pissed off.

  7. Don't know where the author is getting the idea that Eustace is a defender. He's a defensive midfielder. I'm a Derby fan and I can say that he's been very good for us – when fit. We certainly missed him last season, can't see that we would have fallen apart in the last 3 months of the season like we did. His knowhow and experience cannot be understated. Yes, he's getting on and there is a question mark over his fitness, but if can get and stay fit he'll be the older head that the young team that Warburton seems to want to build needs.

    • That being said, my concerns is that his injury at his age can be career limiting and I believe there too much risk associated with this signing to make it even worthwhile. We don't have the budget to have player not 100% fit and with the most chance of being available.

    • Think he'd only be worth your while on a "pay-as-you-play" contract. I'm quite surprised to hear him being linked with Leeds Utd and Sheff Weds to be honest, given his fitness record over the last couple of years. If fit he can certainly do a job – but it's a big if in my opinion.

  8. Simply not wanted, not rated and too old – no interest and would not want to watch this man in a Rangers jersey

  9. On after thought if we need experience why not just get Davie Weir back onto the pitch ffs youth is the future not this Eustace guy……

    • Stuart – as ever the negativity!!
      Stop talking nonsense and give the guy a chance as it's pretty obvious you know nothing about him – and I'm sure Warburton will not sign him unless he feels he is fully fit and can contribute! As the Derby fan says above he is a decent player and did a very good job for the Rams last season who maybe missed out on promotion because Eustace was out injured!

    • On the contrary I know a fair bit about him, living in England not 60 miles from Derby… so yeah I read quite a lot on him. Yes Derby struggled without him as they had no other DM upto standard and had to change formation. It was not down to this one player. No team loses or wins because of one player, not even Messi pulls that one off. So as always not negative but realistic and actually using some form of fact behind my reasoning.

  10. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it"…
    Kenny Miller (35), Kris Boyd (31), Lee McCulloch (37) – FAIL
    Ryan Hardie (18), Tom Walsh (18), Andy Murdoch (20) – PASS

  11. I'm sorry. The story whiffs of an agent trying to punt a player.. Cannot see why we'd be interested in this guy – he doesnt fit Warburtons philosophy, and he was out injured the last 6 months of last season!! If it is true, I'm far from impressed.

    As for commentor at 10:19. BIG rangers fan you mate – support your team fud.

    • What because I don't believe every word coming out of kings mouth ,your questioning my loyalties…fuck off you sheep try having a mind of your own…been through good and bad times with rangers for 35 years and don't need some wet behind the ears R. SOLE ..trying to call me on it……so tuck right off sheep…

  12. We are being taken for mugs by king , where is the millions he promised..I for one won't be spending my hard earned ,cash so that king can keep his not so hard earned cash….we as a support need to start asking some hard questions of king instead of the softball questions the media ask…show me the money…….not a happy bear

    • It is an assumption but the 220k for the Wigan lad must be coming from King or the three bears. I just went on the waiting list for 2 season tickets, even although I will struggle to get to games as I live far away. I do have doubts over King as I have written very publicly on an article here. The point is things are moving and we have to trust the board as we have little other choice, so I think a philosophy of put up and shut up (for now) is in order. Questions will arise if we start signing this sort of player (Eustace) however. Kiernan was a really good signing in my book and I think we got ourselves a wee gem there. Mark W has done fine so far in my book.

  13. The guy's age is irrelevant. Warburton apparently likes a young team with two or three older, more experienced players. As long as he can do the job, who cares if he's 35 or 40? Some people seem to want Rangers to spend money for the sake of it. Hopefully, Warburton is building a quality team without it costing a fortune. Is that not what we want? The people on here complaining have probably never even heard of Eustace never mind seen him play. Warburton obviously has.

  14. Bet you all wish you's had listened to Hugh Adams….he warned that if MURRAY kept on doing what he was doing ,that you's were heading for bankruptcy….then quite a lot of us helpful celtic fans tried to warn you's,but as usual you buried your head in the sand…..poor poor sevco fans always gullible

  15. Disgrace to be linked with 35yr old players, we as a club need to build on youth and dont see any point in anyone over 30yrs coming in to help us back into the premier league.

    Kiernan & Wilson sounds promising with youth and future fee's ahead but John Eustace = no value

    • Agree,dead wood bring in the young players that can grow play football as it should be if it takes 5 years then so be it,but first thing we must do is we get it right 20 year olds who can play and let them grow as a team,like in the old days when a team was a team of best friends that stayed together for years and fought for each other give me 16 young lads pay them well so they will stay for 5 years and longer,that is the way you win and become great teams in history.

  16. Mr Warburton is already asking for trouble if he thinks the Rangers fans will welcome another geriatric in the first team. An extremely foolish move. No more are we willing to let pensioners take up first team places ahead of young talent. This is the year to let youth flourish in order to be fully prepped for the Premiership.

    • This is a ridiculous comment. The idea that we have an age limit applied to the team. Embarrassing. Frank Lampard is 37, so you're saying you wouldn't have taken him two years ago? Even now? Get a grip.

    • Lets not compare this guy to Lampard – every now and again you get an exceptional player that comes along that can play outfield to their late thirties. These being the likes of Xavi, Lampard, Drogba, Raul, Pirlo to name a few, but these guys are special…no offence to Mr. Eustace he is not in the same league as these guys and I'm sure he is a decent player but not a man I want to see as Rangers captain.

  17. Well, if they can get him in on a cheap wage and he passes a medical, I see no problems with the type of experience he would bring to the club. Ok, so he'll be 36 towards the end of the year, he has had some injuries, it is a slight gamble for sure…. On the other hand, we could sure use some experience in the midfield, experience that Eustace has tons of. You all want to blood in the youngsters? This move would help as I'm sure he would be a pretty damn good mentor. There needs to be some old steely veterans sprinkled amongst the youth to keep their heads focused on the game. Although it would seem a gamble, if he's fit and he's cheap I say bring him in. If we can get a good year out of him it will be vitally important to our young midfielders growth.

    I will trust Warburton until he proves otherwise. MON THE GERS!

    • "There needs to be some old steely veterans sprinkled amongst the youth to keep their heads focused on the game." –

      I hear this cliche all the time, but no ones ever given an example of a) which young team failed because of a lack of 'old heads' b) which young team was successful BECAUSE they had an old head in the midfield?
      It just seems to be an old saying in football (you need some experienced players mixed in with youth) without it's causality ever being properly tested.

    • Experience matters. Look at any team that wins. Every single one of them has a few players in their 30's. A team consisting of all players under 23 years of age from front to back is not the way to do it. Like I said, experience matters.

    • But you're saying that they're winning because they have experienced players in the team. I don't believe that. As for the idea of mentoring the younger ones – coaching and advising should be taking place off the field, not on it, and we don't need to be holding the hands of young players out on the pitch. Most young players I see in games show more bravery, more passion and more guts than most of the experienced pros. We could just as easily say that young players would have the shackles off if they didn’t have a veteran player ordering them and nagging at them throughout the game. The likes of Allan and Wilson are experienced enough in my book.

    • Derby County tailed off last season because of an absence of an experienced player in a key position, we were top at the end of Feb and finished 8th so you could certainly count that as failure (the board did when they sacked Steve McClaren, that's for sure). Just so happens, that position was holding midfield and that experienced player was Eustace. Make of that what you will.

    • @09:35 – "Derby County tailed off last season because of an absence of an experienced player in a key position…..Make of that what you will."

      Here's what I make of it. It all depends on how you define 'experienced'. Does a player have to be in his mid-30s to be classed as experienced? Does a highly talented 25 year old with 200 appearances under his belt count as a novice? Derby tailed off last season because of an absence of a talented player in a key position – the age thing is a nonsense. A 25 year old holding midfielder of equal talent would have done the job just as well – if not better – than a 35 year old who is more prone to picking up injury. You might have missed Rangers' games last season where we had a whole nursing home full of geriatrics in our team – a season that was the least successful in the club's history. You make of that what you will.

  18. I am a Derby fan and in the position you are in at the moment (like hammered by Motherwell) John Eustace is just what you need. He is a hard man (you guys will love him) and a motivator. He gets stuck in and inspires those around him. Warburton is not stupid believe me and Eustace will get you back into the to top level. Don't judge until you have seen him!

    • I would never say a player at 35 is done in (Pirlo being an example) however withe injuries he has had and the lack of interest in him since January it makes me feel like he is an unnecessary older and high risk squad member. We don't have the luxury of having extra players on our limited budget.

    • I'm not sure what you mean by "lack of interest in him since January" – he's been injured throughout that time, it was looking likely that we would offer him a new 1 year contract until McClaren was sacked.

    • All I mean is that if clubs rated him highly enough the injury would not have stopped a quick contract offer from Derby whilst being injured while McClaren was still there. This didn't come so to me we are considering a player that other clubs have decided against perusing. League 1 clubs are looking, so to me they guy just is at that twilight stage of his career and not at all confident he is up to handling being Rangers captain.

  19. Totally P'd off if this is true. Thought the days of our club being a retirement holiday retreat for past it players were gone?? Midfield should be made up of murdoch, scott allan and rob keirnan. NOT OLD FATHER TIME…. I thought we'd seen the last of that type of nonsense when mcculloch left. Fans not happy Warbs!!

    • Perhaps you should have read the above post at 17.47 before you start spouting rubbish about 'past it' players that you know nowt about?!!

  20. King's at it. He wants the fans to cough up ST monies without putting a penny in himself.

    Over investment…….don't make me laugh. Kiernan and Eustace have had 16 teams between them, journeymen no more.

    If anyone thinks that Hibs are going to part with Allan for the reported 800k you can be sure that it won't be Rangers he signs for.

    Anyone we deal with where a transfer fee is involved will want payment up front……why?

    The creditors stiffed previously
    A Chairman who is a convicted felon
    A Chairman who refuses to pay back a loan to a major shareholder, a loan that prevented a second administration.
    There is no money, apart from that contributed by fans via ST's. It's obvious.
    If Ashley ringfences £5m of ST sales then we are truly fecked which I'm sure would have been the message given to Ashley by King at the meeting last week.

    Who knows perhaps our Chairman even asked Ash for the 2nd tranche £5m to fund the new manager's warchest.

    If Ash really takes the hump he could padlock the gates at Murray Park next week as he calls in his security.

    It's a total disaster and could see Warburton walk pronto.

    • Why don't you head back to kerrydale st or etims my unwashed and illinformed friend, your only making yourself look stupid here.

  21. It says on John Eustace's wiki page that the page was modified yesterday (20 June 2015) at 6pm. A striking sentence has appeared near the bottom of the page, which seems like a very strong hint being pointed at Rangers (by whom I wonder? Not the man himself surely?) –

    "Eustace has been consistently solid in his second spell at Derby County, adding experience to a young midfield at the club."

    Why would that be edited/added yesterday?

  22. Warburton knows what he's doing. He successfully managed a team into the Championship play-offs at the first time time of asking. Why are you even questioning his approach or signings as if you have an in-depth clue about the strategy or plans. Also keep hearing this dirge about youth, youth, youth. Statistics show that a player peaks around 28, so in picking a team, you need a mix of youth and experience that comes in around this age. It's no surprise that the average age of Arsenal's 'invincibles' was 28, whilst previous Rangers champions teams came in around this also. Does Warburton REALLY want to attract top names at an over-inflated price to get through the championship? or will he create the nucleus of a team that will do the job and add to it after this season. The signings being made will need to be of first team and backup standard so stop whingeing about quality until you see the team sheet against St Mirren.

  23. The teams with the biggest wallets, like Real Madrid and Man City, tend to wait to see if a player produces it with another club on the big stage before they go and buy him (for big money). Which is why you see the average age of these teams sit that bit higher – and because they are successful teams, you assume that they’re successful because of the amount of ‘experience’ they have in the team. What is crucial though is the amount of talent they have, not the experience. Teams like Ajax, for example, can’t just go out and buy proven talent, so they develop their own – and they won the Champions League in 1994/5 with an average age in their team of 23. They won because they were talented, not because of their average age. Which is why my argument is true – the amount of talent a player has is far more important than the number of candles he has on his birthday cake.

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