Since Rangers installed Steven Gerrard as our manager, there’s certainly been some brow-raising signatures. Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor, and Jermain Defoe are players who may or may not have been influenced by the arrival of the Anfield legend as Rangers coach, but at least one of them was mainly tempted by coming home.
However, Rangers have waited a long time for a ‘marquee’ player to arrive – a current top-quality player, probably at some significant cost, who would come to Rangers on the Gerrard name.
That wait is no more.
Sure, not everyone knows who Filip Helander is, but his CV is about as good as they come, and the kind of signing Celtic have been making in recent seasons.
A-near £5M acquisition, a Swedish international, a Champions League regular, and experience of football’s highest levels.
And there’s no doubt the “Gerrard Effect” played a big role here.
Would Rangers have got this guy with Graeme Murty or any of the other ex-managers? We’re not talking a washed-up star like Barton, Senderos or Alves, we’re talking about a currently-relevant 26-year peak of his career Swede who has been tempted by Steven Gerrard (and a few quid we’d suggest) to give Rangers his services rather than the likes of Besiktas and Newcastle.
No, this is by far Gerrard’s first big signing, the first player to come to Rangers at a non-washed up age – yes, he has injury troubles for sure, and there is an element of risk with him, especially given the reports of a dramatic form loss last season, but either way, name a player who doesn’t lose form.
In theory, this is a hell of a signing, and definitely Gerrard’s pinnacle in the transfer market – we remain concerned about the injuries, and the form loss, but should we get the player he theoretically is, it’s Stevie’s finest moment yet.
And that’s the “Gerrard Effect”.