As we alluded to in an earlier piece, Rangers simply don’t do Scottish players enough, and new manager Michael Beale has now addressed this point by confirming he wants more players from our own shores in the lineup, after his old boss Steven Gerrard focused much more on players from outside Caledonia.
Indeed, under Steven Gerrard, Rangers only had Ryan Jack, Allan McGregor and Scotty Arfield, with the latter playing under the Canadian flag of course. There were a few fringe lads like Scott Wright et al, but players like Nathan Patterson were completely dumped in favour of James Tavernier, while the likes of Greg Docherty and Jamie Murphy weren’t deemed anywhere near good enough and Gerrard had no interest in them.
But Beale wants to get more home-based players in the team.
The European quota is a big deal, signing players homegrown who can make up that quota but tellingly be good enough not just for making up numbers but to actually play in the first team regularly – this is the kind of thing we need.
Is the quality actually there? Was Gerrard wrong to mostly overlook homegrown talent? Well, looking around the Scottish Premiership the players’ standards overall aren’t spectacular, and the Aberdeens, Hearts and other sides, not to mention Rangers and Celtic of course, are shown up in Europe every time they play.
Rangers, however, have been magical in the Europa League, and that’s the level, for now, we strive for – so we need players from the Scottish top flight who are up to enhancing the squad at that level while fulfilling UEFA squad requirements.
Scottish players is a must for a club like Rangers, but it’s important they’re good enough. This is why we hope our talent through Auchenhowie reveals a few gems now and then.