A lot has been made of how much Rangers have spent this summer. Or, to put a finer point on it, haven’t.
Just three players cost any money at all:
George Edmundson; £650,000
Joe Aribo: £250,000
Jake Hastie: £unknown but up to £355,000 depending on the result of the reported tribunal if Rangers and Motherwell were unable to agree a fee based on training costs.
So, in total, circa £1M.
And a lot of supporters have been a touch irate at this believing Rangers cannot challenge Celtic spending this little.
And, in their defence, they have a point.
However, as Ibrox Noise brought you, over the past few days, there’s been a big shift in the calibre of target Rangers are looking at.
First off, Joe Aribo is a market value player of something in the region of up to £10M. A 22-year old who was one of the players of League One last season and a huge reason Charlton won promotion – this guy was sought by Aston Villa and other Premier League outfits, so that kind of quality doesn’t come cheap. That Rangers got him for so little is due to that legal loophole which benefits Scottish clubs so well.
Secondly, the players mentioned in Rangers circles over the past 3 days to a week are all premium cost and high-value commodities.
Leeds’ Kemar Roofe is valued anywhere between £5M and £10M, and after his performances last season it’s easy to see why. Slavia Prague’s Simon Beli is a £5M defender and his CV explains why. And Mladá Boleslav’s Nikolay Komlichenko’s is around £4M as he plies his trade in the same division as the Ivory coast defender.
A value of around £15M-£20M for all three, and it marks a dramatic upwards shift in ambition from the board compared with the free agents we have been looking at till now.
As good as we hope Aribo will be, as much potential as Sheyi Ojo has, the former still has to settle and the latter isn’t our player. The Ryan Kent saga just bores everyone now, and Rangers find themselves looking at marquee players who will cost a few quid to say the least.
This is not us stating we expect 3x£5M players to suddenly arrive, just that maybe one or even two isn’t impossible, and with, in many cases those contracts expiring next summer, Steven Gerrard might be able to get these guys for even less than their actual value, Aribo style.
The reality is £1M isn’t enough to win the league – we are loving how things are progressing at this point, but it’s not finished, and it just needs one or two high-calibre targets in key positions to feel like the complete product.
And those look like they might just be on the horizon.