James Sands faces an imminent exit from Rangers after sources revealed New York City FC are looking to recall him back to the MLS.
The utility defender, target for a lot of fans’ ire earlier in the season, has found his opportunities under new manager Michael Beale reducing to very little, particularly with the return to fitness of Ben Davies and Connor Goldson, while his main position, midfield, is packed to the rafters.
Indeed, the signing of Nicolas Raskin, very much in Sands’ position, is a clear sign that the American international is now completely surplus at Ibrox and Rangers are very unlikely to make the addition permanent.
That has been communicated to his parent club, whose league has a different transfer window structure to Europe, and they intend to take back their man imminently, whose time is clearly up at Rangers.
How do we feel about this? Sands held himself with absolute dignity, and we’ll raise an eyebrow at any fans wishing him well should he announce his exit on social media – few Rangers players have been abused so mercilessly as Sands has, reminding us of how badly Borna Barisic and Amad Diallo in particular were treated at the start of 2022.
He got the team out of many jams in this campaign, and has done so quietly, without fuss and with honour.
Is he good enough? Well, in midfield there’s signs of quality but he was never given a run there, and we definitely do have better defenders – the pairing we currently have both surpass Sands and midfield is absolute brimming with top-class players now. So, no, he now falls short, sadly for him.
It appears Rangers will not use the ring-fenced cash on him, and have chosen to invest in Nicolas Raskin instead. Sands wasn’t even on the bench last night, showing how little space there now is for him.
He will surely go back to the MLS, but he does so with Ibrox Noise’s best wishes and thanks, and our apologies for the rubbish he took so much of last year.
A decent guy, maybe not quite good enough, and who didn’t deserve the atrocious nonsense the majority of fans gave him.