Still young enough to have an impact, this European champion had excelled at huge clubs like Porto, Zenit and Fenerbahce while being one of the best defenders in Serie A for lower table Cagliari. Indeed, he was often the last tackle, block, barrier for the Italians and when Pedro Caixinha managed to secure his services, well, we genuinely felt we’d signed a game changer.
How utterly wrong we were!
The fact is, while Alves conducted himself well off the pitch, and participated in a lot of goodwill events and behind the scenes work for Rangers, on the pitch he was completely awful.
He simply couldn’t tackle, had no positional sense, couldn’t organise his defence, and somehow managed to look no better than Rob Kiernan.
His one saving grace was his aerial dominance – he was brilliant in the air and few could beat in him an aerial duel. He did sometimes manage a good lofted ball forward to the marauding Tavernier on the right, but, honestly, these are about it.
He just couldn’t defend, not for us, and it was evident inside the first few minutes of the opening game of last season at Fir Park that the SPL didn’t suit him.
Too physical, too fast, and too chaotic.
It’s caught out better players than Bruno Alves in fairness, but it is disappointing how poor last summer’s marquee signing ended up being. Perhaps Rangers got him after his final good season, given he didn’t feature for a second at the world cup – but either way it’s a signing which just failed miserably.
We have no axe to grind with the guy, he’s a decent sort and we wish him luck at Parma, but we do wish this signing had worked out the way it should.
We’re unclear if we’ll get any sort of fee for him, but either way, best wishes Bruno.