We now realise why Rangers chose new Portuguese manager Pedro Caixinha to take over the reins at Ibrox. During his interview with the board, it has become obvious to me that he convinced them that he had all the right credentials and had also earned the right to manage and coach at a huge club the size of Rangers.
He must have promised the board that come the close season he would be in a great position to upgrade the inferior players he had inherited at the club from the dreadful Mark Warburton who very nearly relegated Nottingham Forest once we showed him the door for letting us all down so badly.
He must have assured the board that he had the knowledge and an abundance of exceptional contacts of all the available players from Portugal and Mexico that he had known well from spending his management time in these countries. He knew the players who he would have an excellent chance of persuading to come and strut their stuff at Govan, Glasgow.
Most of his targets are either players he knows very well and rates highly or the ones that have already worked and played for him at other clubs. He undoubtedly
is rated as a coach and manager in the countries where he has worked in, as the players all seem to want to join him at Ibrox.
(Reputed to sign this week) José Abella was an important Mexican U21 player who Pedro rates as a top class 23-year-old right-back with the potential to become a full internationalist in the near future. Caixinha’s admiration for Abella is well-known, as he was part of the Santos Laguna team that the Rangers manager steered to winning the Liga MX Clausura title in 2015. If José settles well he could play in Scotland for many years to come.
Bruno Alves – Hopefully the big prize.
Forget the fact he is 35, Bruno Alves is probably the club’s biggest statement of intent in the transfer market. Bruno is a defender who has operated at the highest level of European football for well over a decade and has enjoyed a good season with Cagliari in Serie A. He is a powerful stopper, who thrives in winning aerial duels and will add steel to our new side. He won Euro 2016 with Portugal and he is
being touted for the captaincy next season.
Fabio Cardoso who just turned 23 in April, is a very promising 6’ 1.5”, centre back who played 55 games for the Benfica B team over a few years and in season 2015-16, he was sent out on loan to Paços de Ferreira, based in a district of Porto and he featured in 38 games, where he caught the bug for playing first team football.
It was whilst in Porto that Fabio took the decision to leave the Benfica B team to experience regular first team football, which he felt was necessary to establish his football career quicker than Benfica were planning for him. He has been chosen by Pedro to pair up with Bruno Alves as our new Portuguese defensive partnership.
Carlos Peña, the 27-year-old, highly rated 5’10” Mexican international midfielder should be another great signing. The centre of the park is an area that Pedro clearly identified as one that required immediate attention, and the strength and power of Peña will certainly provide some much-needed steel to the spine of his team.
Ryan Jack the 25-year-old, central midfielder has signed for us on a free transfer and the bad blood between Rangers and Aberdeen will no doubt last throughout the summer. His grit and skill in the engine room was desperately required. He’ll no doubt get dog’s abuse at Pittodrie for years to come, because he had the audacity to improve himself, but Ped the Ted won’t care as long as can make a big difference to the ‘Gers.
Daniel Candeias is a 28-year-old Portuguese winger who is currently playing for Turkish club Alanyaspor and is said to be signing for Rangers this week.
Dálcio is a young Portuguese international player who is 5’ 8” tall and just turned 21 and is an outstanding winger / forward who was playing for the Benfica B team and was showing unbelievable potential. He has signed a one-year-loan-deal with the light blues.
Eduardo Herrera, a 28-year-old, 6’ 2”, Mexican striker who has also signed for the ‘Gers. He was on loan to Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz from Pumas de la UNAM, who play in the Liga MX (Mexico’s Premier League).
Graham Dorrans is from Glasgow, and turned 30 in May. He is a Scottish international footballer who wants to play for his life-long blue nose team and we love players like that – as long as they are great players of course. Rangers have now upped their initial offer of around £750,000 to £1M to try and get him.
We also have to try and convince Norwich to get him off their sky high wage bill,
Although I have a sneaky suspicion that the minimum they will accept is £1.2m.
The Norwich fans want to keep hold of him because they rate him so highly. He scored six goals in 24 matches for the Canaries in a season disrupted by a knee ligament injury he picked up on Boxing Day. He is fully fit now, so let’s hope he is the next to sign on the dotted line.
Caixinha has worked hard, fast, and impressively to seal a number of deals for new players – this clinical nature is clearly a major reason Rangers wanted him, along with his evident ability to recruit high-quality players from both his homeland and elsewhere.
With luck, the team he builds could actually have a fighting chance in the SPL next season – whether it is a fist at the title or not, Rangers are constructing a squad which is instilling pride back in the fans.
Keep it up!