It’s something which is truly astonishing, in light of the last 8 years of Rangers’ recovery from 2012, and how the squad was composed.
What was it?
Rangers, for the first competitive match in at least 5 years, had not a single loan player in the entire squad.
It slipped by quietly, but the only loan players we had, Hagi and Defoe, were now permanent, and the others, Sheyi Ojo and Florian Kamberi, returned to Liverpool and Hibs respectively.
All signings this summer, that are new, are all permanent recruits – Bassey, McLaughlin and Balogun.
Not a single player borrowed from other teams, in an act which represents, quite possibly, management finally realising that bar the occasional gem, the loan market is a bum move which just doesn’t work.
Rangers must have had close to 50 if not more loan players (ok, it was 25, excluding the Newcastle 5 in 2014) since Mark Warburton tried to turn us into a recruitment lab for kids, and in all that time, only Kent, Davis, Defoe and Hagi have worked out – and two of them were seasoned pros who could barely fail.
And it seems, finally, Rangers have ditched the abysmal loan market and have stopped borrowing young rubbish from other clubs.
Of course, there’s a lot of this window still to go, and we may still eat our words should the club bring in another loan, but by and large, the proliferation of borrowing low-quality fodder from other teams seems to be massively down and we can finally enjoy players who we own.