“Where are they now” – assessing big Rangers sales of the past

“Where are they now” – assessing big Rangers sales of the past
Ajax Italian-born Nigerian defender Calvin Bassey smiles during a press conference at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on October 31, 2022, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group A football match against Rangers. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

We wanted to take a look into the ‘past’ with this one, and focus on players who are no longer here, by reviewing the success (or otherwise) of all big Rangers sales since November 2021 and the exit of Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa. Since him, we’ve sold a bunch of big players, and Ibrox Noise decided to assess their careers since those departures, just for curiosity’s sake as much as anything.

We begin with Gerrard himself:

Moving to Villa for £4.5M (compensation), Gerrard did barely mediocre from the start, winning just 10 matches of 27, and that was with Michael Beale in tow. Once Beale was gone it was two wins of 12 and Gerrard’s already limited managerial skill was completely exposed. He was fired in October last year and has been out of work since. He was a managerial failure at Villa and our score is generous. 2/10

Nathan Patterson:

Patto was next – sold for £16M during the following winter window, Patterson endured a slow start to life at Goodison, with then-coach Rafa Benitez fired only 10 days after signing him. Frank Lampard took over but favoured other options particularly Seamus Coleman but just when Patto finally started to break through, he got injured, and Coleman got back in. He’s shown a lot of promise and is theoretical first choice now for club and country, but unfortunately the season is already done for him. Unlucky as hell. 4/10

Joe Aribo:

Next came the £10M sale of Joe Aribo, the much-hyped transition to Southampton that was going to be his springboard to a top 6 team. Unfortunately for Joe, he’s just not good enough. He never exactly lit Rangers up consistently, just flashes, and while in theory there was a world class player inside there given the tools he seemed to have, it’s not translated to the Premier League at all. He’s been poor down there, something approaching mildly mediocre under the manager who signed him, Ralph Hassenhuttl, and the two new bosses since then have both overlooked him. So, a bit of a flop, sadly, and we say that with a heavy heart because he’s a truly lovely bloke we have a lot of time for. 2/10

Calvin Bassey:

This was the big hype one following Sevilla, a match strewn with errors from the Nigerian and which somehow translated to him being the ‘Next Big Thing’. He’s been absolutely destroyed in Holland, with yet another bad display v Feyenoord leading to every Dutch ex-defender utterly scathing of him. He is a terrible footballer, but who is big, strong and quick. Sadly he has no brain for the game, and as we say, he makes gaffes all over the place but in Scotland was able to ‘retrieve’ them and generally spare his own blushes. He’s being completely exposed for those errors at a much higher weekly level than Scotland. We absolutely mugged Ajax for the £23M and we can be thrilled with it. That said, he’d still shine back in the SPL because it’s just so poor and rewards brute force. Remember, even in the Europa League, it was Goldson the one on top of all the defensive charts, not Bassey. He’s just not very good! 0/10

Unfortunately, them from the other side of the city have fared a lot better in recent years for their premium sales, Dembele thriving in Lyon till he eventually outstayed his welcome, VVD becoming the world’s best defender for a time at Liverpool following his transfer from Southampton, and Tierney looking good at Arsenal before Arteta plumped for Zinchenko instead, those injuries being an issue. They seem to do better than us for sales, in the sense their high-profile exports fare better at higher levels than ours do.

On the flip side though, Fabio Cardoso is doing superbly at Porto, which is a massive hike up from the SPL, John Fleck made a pretty good Premier League career for himself, and Steven Davis also thrived at Southampton until losing favour. It’s just that our big glitzy sales don’t seem to get the success we hope for them.

And that’s all we can say on that.

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