Rangers are sitting pretty at the top of the Scottish Premiership standings, with Steven Gerrard well and truly delivering the goods so far this campaign, but things haven’t always been rosy at Ibrox. Like most clubs, the Gers have attempted to polish a few turds in their time, with numerous failed signings over the years.
Given the likes of Kamara and Barisic these days, it just makes you appreciate the current crop even more.
In the case of Rangers, a number of relatively big names have come and gone over the years. These days, Steven Gerrard’s recruitment has come under scrutiny at times – like any manager would expect – but on the whole, he’s made several shrewd acquisitions which have turned out to be key cogs in the Rangers wheel this campaign. Not every Gers boss has got it as right as Steven Gerrard, though.
With that in mind, here’s a look back at some of Rangers’ worst ever signings for a bit of a giggle going into the new year.
Remember Dragan Mladenovic? Expected to deliver far more than he did after arriving for a fee of £1.2million, the big Serbian midfielder played just eight games and lasted just 12 months, before the club managed to strike a deal with the player and his agent to pay him off. After arriving with so much promise, the club couldn’t wait to get rid of him. Funny how things pan out, isn’t it?
Joey Barton is a divisive character. As a result, his move to Rangers was always going to divide the fanbase. He was a household name, he too talked himself up a bit, although with unlimited access to an array of unsavoury things he’s done, much like gamers are getting unlimited access to the entire collection of online scratch cards, some Gers fans weren’t happy with his arrival one bit. A training ground altercation later and several poor performances resulted in Barton’s contract being terminated just a few months after his arrival. What a flop.
After signing for the club from Stoke on a two-year deal back in 2010, James Beattie was predicted to be the goalscoring striker the team so desperately needed at the time. The former Southampton striker even fuelled the hype around his move to the club himself by claiming to be the next Kris Boyd. Zero goals later and a ripped up contract by the club tell you that Beattie was probably best keeping his mouth shut. The club should have avoided a player who clearly had his best years behind him.
Costing a whopping £3million from Chivas Guadalajara, Carlos Pena was expected to be an important part of Pedro Caixinha new-look Rangers team. Instead, the Mexican playmaker looked slow and off the pace, and ultimately struggled to settle in Scotland. As a result, Pena secured loan moves back home with Mexican sides Cruz Azul and Necaxa before the club terminated his contract in 2019. That’s £3million down the drain, basically.
Yes, we had to include Francisco Sandaza. How could we not? After leaving the club in utterly disgraceful fashion after admitting to a fake agent that the sole reason he joined the club was for the money – plus that he’d leave in a heartbeat – the club found out and terminated his contract. Idiot.
Francis Jeffers could make an article of this type based on Arsenal’s worst signings, but he’s made a Rangers one too. Arsene Wenger once predicted Jeffers to be a star for England’s national team but Rangers fans certainly never saw how the Frenchman came to that conclusion. Jeffers joined on-loan from Charlton and failed to score in 14 games for the club.