Did Rangers drop the ball with Jamie Walker?


So now that the dust is settling on Deadline Day, the failure to secure Jamie Walker is certainly a significant topic on fans’ lips.

Whether you rated him or not, Rangers clearly wanted the player and the player clearly wanted the Rangers, so it has to go down as a disappointing conclusion to a stupidly long-running saga.

Rangers did not get their man – there is no real quality or reliable holder of the left wing slot, and while Mark Allen secured Aaron Nemane, he is a completely unknown quantity. He could be another Candeias (not that that is illustrious praise but he has been not bad), but equally he could be a Dalcio. Meanwhile Josh Windass and Niko Kranjcar are, in neither case, proper wingers, and both suffer fitness and consistency problems.

Moreover Hearts are left with an extremely unhappy player who now has to wait nine or ten months till he can formally leave Tynecastle, with the assumption he signed a pre-contract in January to switch to Ibrox. Will Rangers even still be interested by then?

Fans are mildly divided on this topic – some do not see what the fuss is about, and if we judge based on his display in Govan, that view has merit. He was poor, on the day – certainly had a tonne on his mind and he was not mentally or physically in the game. They also point to his lack of success at breaking through to the national team – he is hardly a spring chicken now at 24 and Scotland are not exactly blessed with Jim Baxter any more.

But others rate him hugely – regarded as Hearts’ star player, they know he sees his future elsewhere, and Rangers’ drastic lack of a proper and known left winger made getting one in an absolute priority, and the argument in favour of settling up with Levein’s side was Rangers’ need for such a player’s services now.

So now Rangers have just Aaron Nemane (who could well turn out a sensational find) as a proper left winger and we must put all our eggs in the 19-year old’s basket and hope he delivers. Well, I say that – he might be training with the first team but he has been described as ‘one for the future’ by official club channels so whether Pedro actually sees him as someone he would use in the SPL is another matter.

Otherwise it is Josh Windass and Niko Kranjcar in a system which probably does not suit either of the attacking midfielders.

Did Rangers drop the ball on this one? The club’s refusal to spend Hearts’ asking price because the player is out of contract in a year has disappointed some and pleased others. It has pleased some because it showed Rangers would not be held to ransom over a player they can get for free in a year, but it displeased others because of the perceived need for a left winger.

Personally we are disappointed that the position is not really filled, but we are not principally devastated that it is Walker who is not filling it – we do need that slot taken, but we are less interested in who by – just as long as it is a good player.

Rangers dropped the ball by not getting in a genuinely decent left winger – rather than dropping the ball by not getting Walker specifically. The whole summer the club pursued the one player for that position, and failed to get him. That was a risky strategy and one which has not paid off – instead we are left with an untried and untested option who may or may not even be in the first team squad never mind the first XI.

It is not ideal, and it means that whether we like it or not, the Walker saga rumbles on.


  1. Regardless of the Walker scenario, it is our inability to compete on the market at base rates which is more worrying. Another case where we piddled about adding a few grand here and there then a club like Hearts can knock us back. Sign of the times and remains worrying. Long time until we are back on the front page of deadline day.

  2. Not a great loss we getting walker wouldn't win us the league. Pick him up for free in tbe summer. We've spent £10m on 9 players this summer. Hopefully we'll have that again next summer or possibly more with the new strip deal. We get a season to see how successful this recruitment was. I'd say if 5 out of the 9 signings work out we've done well. Then next summer we can spread £10-12m across 3/4 players. Continue this trend into the following season but spend £10-12m on 2 players. Slow build. By the time we get there we will be closer to sellic and better placed to stop 10 in a row.

  3. I think hearts have "dropped the ball" they now have an unhappy player who will either sign for us in 4 months time for a couple o hundred thou or a pre contract for next summer for nothing. The lad wants to play for the famous, he doesn't look happy about it but seems willing to wait. Could.be a good bit o business. A million to spend on other things.

    • I totally agree with you deirdre. Hearts have cut off their nose to spite their face by gambling that Rangers will stump up the million at the final hour of deadline. They have now lost hundreds of thousands for a player who will now be gutted for not getting to sign for us. We have been held to ransom long enough and this will send a message to other clubs that we will not be played in the transfer market.
      I was not a fan of getting Walker for a million but I really feel sorry for the lad who had his hopes up by constant media speculation, only to be let down by Hearts. Rangers were offering a price that would suit the players ability and one year left on his contract. It was more than a fair price and Rangers should not be criticised whatsoever. Hearts will be kicking themselves and rightly so, nothing but greed!
      I urge Walker to use the coming months to get his head down and prove his worth with a view to get a pre-contract agreement or sign for us at a reduced price in January.

  4. We can't slag the bears for not getting him when he simply is not worth what they wanted,glad we held our ground and we must send out the message we are not going pay over the odds just because we are rangers bring in Stevie McLean and walker in January and a partner for Morales and I'll be happy

    • That is an excellent question.

      And for the record, it's a loan until Jan, not for a full year. But your point / question is perfectly valid.

  5. She would not budge…and Yet she would have been better off for it…
    Oh well, free transfer then.
    Laughs aside, losing out on Walker and loaning out Dodoo at the same time?!
    Keeping loanee Dalcio on wages? WTF

  6. Hearts uped the price, part if me thinks that they would have uped it if we offered £1mill!!! If any other team had come in he would have been sold!!! Now they lose out, Hearts cutting their nose off to spite their face did themno favours!!

    • and they are seriously skint, u watch Rangers will get unlimited tickets when we play them at Murrayfield, so they hope to cash in on away support coming in droves to big stadium. YES they have cut their nose off etc.

  7. I think if this guy was as good as what we have he'd be worth more than £1M. If he was that good more than just Rangers would be looking to sign him. I think we need to be patient with the guys we have and let the gaffer work. we might not be looking come January.

  8. Agree wud shud have brot in a left winger at all costs, but I'm glad they didn't just go there's £1m after all compare it to McKay if he had 2 years on his contract wuda been looking at £2m but he went down to the money pit down south for a shawdy £500k hearts wer looking for thetrue value of a player under a longer contract. Fed up with Scottish clubs (a) refusing to sell us a player but will sell them to the manky mob.
    (B) holding us to ransom.
    So well done not giving in GERS n they will now get sweet f.a for ther greed n ignorance.

  9. was the right move we have got plenty players think we will get couple gems come through this year hopefully put up decent fight for title and cup win next year we will know what we need player wise ,management also .im happy with pedro and players lets get right behind them .what a fantastic fans we have .the smelly septic are gutted were on our way back . w,a,t,p

  10. I've made my views clear on signing Walker and Rangers need to strengthen now in an earlier post, however following the logic of the majority on here – if Walker is not worth £1 million – why sign him on a pre-contract in January? If he wouldn't significantly improve the quality of the current team right now, and in turn significantly increase our chances of challenging Celtic & Aberdeen this season – then why sign him at all? If he would – why wait?

    • £1million for Walker would've been a huge gamble. Een £500000 would have been a gamble and we can't really afford to gamble with our limited resources. I know we have already with Dalcio and Pena etc but that doesn't mean we should carry on gambling. I think Walker would enhance our team but we've never seen him against really good opposition which is why I'd be happier to get him for a fair price in January. Hearts have gambled because we're Rangers, and lost. They're now saying that there going to sit down with the boy and attempt to get his mindset right in order that they'll get some game time from him. Like Hibs did with Scott Allen, Hearts may well have ruined the boy's career. Mon the Gers

  11. We could out if a english team come in and offer more money than we can pay, nothing is a done deal yet but i hope it is.

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