Report: Rangers to sign winger

 Report by Richard Fillingham

According to a report in the Österbottens Tidning, the Finnish newspaper is insinuating that Serge Atakayi is set to complete his move to Rangers within 24 hours. They say he is flying into Glasgow on Monday night for a medical and if everything goes to plan, he will sign a deal which will be his first professional contract.

On the 29th April 2015, Serge Atakayi became the youngest ever player to appear in Finland’s Veikkausliiga aged just 16 years, 2 months and 30 days when he appeared as a substitute for FF Jaro against Ilves. The remarkably talented youngster went on to appear 15 times in season 2014-15, scoring twice, and scaring fullbacks up and down the country.

Serge has a remarkable story, one of chance decisions, perseverance and adversity.

He was born in Kinshasa, DS Congo on the 30th January 1999 into a poor family. He joined local team AS Leopards Dolisé as an 8-year-old. In 2010, Leopards sent an U-11 team to the annual Helsinki Cup in Finland. The team finished third with Atakayi the top scorer. Remarkably, immediately after the last game, the coaching staff and all the 10 and 11-year-old players marched to the local police office and claimed asylum.

Atakayi spent a month in a processing centre, before being admitted to school to learn Finnish. To this day he lives in a group home for underage asylum seekers. Because Serge does not yet have Finnish nationality, he has been unable to represent Finland’s junior national teams, except for 2 friendlies against Sweden at U-15 level where his inclusion was pre-agreed.

He can play on the left or right wing, or even as a number 10. He is an excellent dribbler and possesses lightning pace and ability is one- to -one situations. He has the ability to go outside or inside onto his preferred right foot. He will drift from wide areas into the middle where he can use his good final ball and ability in tight situations to his teams’ advantage.

It is hard to ignore the obvious comparison with Atakayi’s idol – Raheem Sterling. Atakayi is also a dribbler of fine poise and balance, and can cut inside to unleash a strong shot. In terms of improvement Atakayi needs to become more consistent, and also show more desire to recover the ball when it is in the opposition’s possession and perhaps work on his weaker left foot.

Now a 17-year-old winger, but could easily play as a striker as he progresses to become a top player. Atakayi still plays in the Finnish league with FF Jaro who play their matches in the Pietarsaaren Keskuskenttä stadium in the city of Pietarsaari, which holds only 5,000. Serge scored two goals in his final two matches of last season. On Sunday 17 May he lined up against HIFK Helsinki, played on the wing and scored a good goal and only a few days later he started against VPS Vaasa on Thursday 21 May, and scored again – wow!

He was at Leicester City for a week on trial and also at Murray Park with Rangers earlier this year to see if he could impress the Ibrox side with a view to signing him for the future. He has also had three trial spells with Fulham, so he is keen to play his football in the United Kingdom.

If it is true that Rangers want to sign him, it will involve a fee after FF Jaro gave Atakayi a one-year contract extension, before he left for England and Scotland for his various trials.

It is believed that Rangers moved quickly to bring this potential star to Scotland having sent academy coach Alan Boyd to watch him play in his last two matches of the season, and he was very impressed with his displays, saying:

“He is a very good prospect and it will be good to see what he can do training with Rangers. I liked the way he played and he looks like he is learning about the game all the time. The next step is to see how he fits in at Rangers and how he trains with us. So yes, we have a serious interest in Serge.”

Rangers’ recruitment drives are in high gear at the moment as Warburton, Weir and McParland seem to be planning for the future behind the scenes. Let’s hope their actions are transferred to centre stage on the Ibrox turf.


  1. Sounds like a solid signing. Hope his medical doesn't take as long as Senderos…WTF is going on with that?!
    Anyhow, welcome to Rangers Serge!

  2. This is just the sort of player we are crying out for forget centre backs as we have that well covered it's as every bear knows it's on the wings is where the problems are in the team

  3. amazing signing just what we need. looks like waggy is on his way out the door looks like Bristol city are ready to put a 2.5 million offer on the table . and federico macheda might be his replacement

  4. I think Warbs has decided this will be his "BEDDING IN" season & as long as we have a Top 6 finish then all ok,
    Hopefully all these new signings will be up & runnning by next year/season for us to make a decent challenge!

  5. No doubt the boys got potential but there's more pressing priorities at hand here.If we can send someone to scout a teenager in Finland then why can't we dig up a decent big Scandanavian beast of a CH?Because they are there to be had.

    • We couldn't afford to send someone to Finland to watch him, ffs!

      He was training with Leicester, didn't cut the mustard, they passed him on to McParland.

  6. Personally I'd prefer players who can come in now to help the team cause, no problem with young developing players but it also has the risk of it not working out, especially foreign players.

    Can we get someone in who can fit into the first team, enhance it and stay there.

  7. Hope he signs not sure he'll be getting any first team football. But like the old saying goes if your good enough your old enough . We do need someone who can do something different. We're to predictable just now having all the possession doesn't mean anything unless we actually put the ball in the net . Hopefully garner can do that for us still doesn't help the defence anyway. Let's get senderos in and actually get a good partnership in defence

  8. The last paragraph "recruitment drive in high gear" I'm sorry, but the recruitment policy is looking like a bad joke. Senderos being strung along, Lescott's failed medical (but he passes one for AEK Athens), Lescott not wanting to move to Glasgow for family reasons (but then moving to Greece).

    As I say, a bad joke. Sooner or later, Dave's going to realise that promises need to be backed up with reality. You can't lie and spin forever.

  9. This site is becoming a moan-fest. Too many bears with expectations from the 9-in-a-row years. How many times does the Manager and Board have to talk about a rebuilding project before it sinks in?!
    Anyone who thought we'd be up challenging for the title this year is deluded. Top 3 finish in our first season back would be amazing given where we've been in recent years.
    A lot of our squad are being found out at this level – young players like this guy will be viewed as potential stars for the next couple of years. Get behind the team! Win or lose.

  10. If Wags leaves it really just shows how bad things are right now. Our top scorer let go show hee-haw ambition even at a couple of £m why don't we come out and say no way to this. Just crazy..!!!!

    • The money is desperately needed, Preston cleaned us out with the upfront payment for Garner.

      It's another sticking plaster to keep the lights on.

      Not yet September and funds are low..ll…how are we going to get through to next May ffs a.

      King has a lot to answer for.

  11. Potential, amazing, scaring fullbacks, ffs give the puff pieces a rest and confirm that Warburton lied through his teeth about Lescott walking away !

  12. Waghorn to go to keep the lights on…………it was supposed to be Tav but he didn't fancy the move tonTurkey1.

    It's a feckin shambles, even Warbs is toing the Level 5 line with the lies about Lescott.

    DJ peddling failed medical crap ffs.

    Nope Warbs made Lescott an acceptable verbal offer which the board changed and the player walked…… Greece, quite close to Manchester I believe!

  13. There are more tims on here than Bears.
    This Finnish boy is a wonderkid, and we're still (if it is us) whinging about needing defenders. Incredible.

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