If one thing punctuated the second half of 2017, it was the ‘January window’ phenomenon. That is, Rangers failed to sign the likes of Louis Moult, Jamie Walker, Lewis Morgan, Kenny McLean, Tyler Roberts and Steven Naismith in the summer of last year and instead they were posited as strong January acquisitions.
Indeed, for the remainder of the previous 12 months, fans looked ahead to these guys and more arriving, and while most are pleased with the work Rangers did last month, it cannot have failed to come to attention that not a single noteworthy target actually came in – as in, none of those around whom such hype had been generated.
Moult went to Preston, Roberts to Leeds, Walker to Wigan, Naismith to Hearts, Morgan to Celtic and McLean to Norwich.
This is not to diss our work last month – as said already, most of us are very happy with who we got.
The problem is for the first time in as long as we can remember, we have absolutely no idea who the targets for the next window are, as all those we did not get have gone elsewhere.
Sadly, most of the discussion with regards the next window centres on striker Alfredo Morelos and the near-inevitability he will leave for pastures new. As long, of course, as Rangers get a pretty penny for him. The only other chat is whether the likes of Bruno Alves and Fabio Cardoso will stay beyond May.
Where it comes to boosting the squad we could not even begin to tell you who Mark Allen is looking at. We do not even know who our manager will be hence excluding Graeme Murty from the previous sentence.
So, while there is a sense of some slight improvement following the January window, (Hibs loss aside) for Rangers to take the next step in becoming the clear ‘second best’ in Scotland will take a real upgrade in player standard.
And as yet we have absolutely zero idea who the board, Mark Allen and possibly Graeme Murty have on the horizon as new recruits this summer.
Some might argue that what was done in January itself requires time and settling in before we even look to the summer, but for Rangers to get back to what we should be, the work should never rest on its laurels and pat itself on the back – we must keep striving.
We just hope the powers that be have some credible players in mind to secure in the next window, so we have more to be excited about.