There’s little doubt impending new signing Sam Lammers is the most divisive Rangers addition since Maurice Johnston. That seems like an exaggeration, but this hitman, while not getting quite the same emotional reaction from Ibrox fans as the former Celtic striker did, is nevertheless convincing very few of the support that he’s the right stuff to take the club forward.
The £2.5M gamble Rangers manager Michael Beale is taking on him isn’t quite the gigantic risk that a potential £4M fee could have been, but it’s still a healthy price and Rangers don’t have that money to waste.
It’s been argued that ‘any signing is a risk’ and that’s absolutely true, not all signings work out, and indeed, it’s far from the case that they all do.
But there are some signings that have absolutely no evidence to support their legitimacy, especially when premium cash is involved.
Last summer we look at Rabbi Matondo – his CV was not bad – Wales international, regular in Belgium’s top flight. Seemed like a good use of £3M. Antonio Colak had a lot more detractors, but his CV and stats showed evidence the £2M on him wasn’t a bad idea, and we’d all seen what he’d done for Malmo against us. Ridvan? £6M looked a curious investment and a bit random but the lad’s CV was top notch and he had it all ahead of him.
In short, there’s always an element of risk, but usually it’s whether this player will settle, or if he’ll fit in. It’s not usually this kind of risk we’re seeing on Lammers:
The risk where everything points to this being a fail, and only faith in the manager’s judgement is stopping a universal condemnation of this addition.
We’ve rarely seen a signing less supported than this one by Rangers – which is not to say he won’t be backed once he’s announced, it just means there’s no evidence it’s the right signing and no one seems to defend it.
The risk here is Michael Beale is counting on Lammers defying his (many) detractors and shining for Rangers, rather than everyone anticipating a good signing and there being a chance it’s not.
See, that’s the ‘risk’ with Jack Butland – a free signing but no guarantee he’ll be a success, but the chances are he will given his clear CV.
But Lammers is more the other way around.
We just have to hope Beale sees things we don’t and this one works out, because it really is a very strange signing indeed.