With news over the past 24 hours that Rangers are linked to yet ‘another young forgotten gem’ in Gus Poyet’s son Diego, Rangers fans are starting to heavily question the Club’s transfer strategy.
Or more to the point if there is one.
Poyet, 21, has had the typical Warburton player career, with loan spells at various lower level English clubs such as Huddersfield and Milton Keynes, and reaction to the story of his replacing the departed Joey Barton has been disappointment at best.
One has to look back at the big summer window, and examine exactly what Rangers’ recruitment strategy has been, where it has gone wrong, and what the future holds if that pattern continues.
The obvious start, as my colleague Richard Fillingham so adroitly pointed out, was the lack of serious centre halves with experience who came in. Yes, Clint Hill has established himself but he was not supposed to. Meanwhile Philippe Senderos remains benched, and defence remains Rob Kiernan and, when fit, Danny Wilson.
To call this substandard does not do it justice.
Indeed, Hill and attacking midfielder Josh Windass are arguably the closest to ‘successes’ over the entire three month summer period, and one of them was signed in January!
Lee Hodson remains a fringe player despite impressive displays when used (we will forgive his lapse against St Johnstone), and Matt Gilks was only signed as backup to Foderingham and gets the cup matches.
The bugbear for many fans remains the lack of defensive quality while midfield was over stocked. We saw five new midfielders arrive in the shape of Barton, Rossiter, Crooks, Kranjcar and Windass and the harsh truth is, Windass generously and injuries aside, none of these worked out. Not yet anyway. Midfield has regressed to last season’s with Halliday back in DM and Holt as the energy.
Up front is where even more disappointment reigns. Joe Dodoo was signed amidst a huge amount of hype, but has barely featured, while the big summer spend was on Joe Garner and to suggest he does not fit in is kind.
At Ross County, deep into November, Warburton and McParland’s transfer policy was laid bare. Of the 11 summer acquisitions, only three started. To question this policy is not scepticism or cynicism – it is absolutely required.
Now with the Barton nonsense and growing speculation over Waghorn’s future, Rangers fans have the right to ask what the heck is going on.
While Warburton did not have Celtic’s budget to spend this summer, he still used around £3M on transfers which is by far higher than anyone else bar the Parkhead side, and it does not include wages. And the side is, frankly, awful as a result.
Rangers fans are right to question this. They are right to doubt Warburton. They are right to wonder where this Club is going right now.
No one expected the title, heck, few even expected second, but the limp results and displays since April and summer’s increasingly disastrous signing policy forces questions to be asked of whether we trust January to be any better.
And if a nothing Milton Keynes loanee is the best we can hope for, there may be trouble ahead.