Inspired by Ibrox Noise regular Jim Miller, the site wanted to ask a simple question;
Why do Rangers just ignore the Scottish Premiership as a resource for players these days?
The last player Rangers signed from a rival Scottish team was John Souttar from Hearts (2022) and the last before him Scott Wright (2021) from Aberdeen.
Then it’s back to 2019 and Jordan Jones from Killie and Jake Hastie from Motherwell.
Four players from the SPL in almost five years, and not a single one of them a true marquee addition at a fair price who’s become a true first team regular.
Gone are the days Rangers hoovered up the best of the SPL – the Steven Naismiths, the Steven Whittakers, the Kris Boyds, the Kevin Thomson, the Nacho Novos, guys who locked into our first team.
Rangers’ record from the SPL market in recent seasons is dire.
John Souttar might be a top defender in Ibrox Noise’s opinion but he has been injured too much and doesn’t really seem to be in favour under any of the managers we’ve had since he signed, while Scott Wright is just a solid enough squad member.
But the number of SPL players to come to SPL Rangers and become mainstays in our first team?
Since the days of the likes of Naismith, Whittaker, Aluko and Lee Wallace? Just the two. Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara. And that’s now SEVEN years ago in Jack’s case and 5 in Kamara’s…
Greg Docherty we liked but Steven Gerrard didn’t. Time proved Gerrard arguably wrong on that one, when he preferred now-Southampton man Joe Aribo. Docherty? Been a consistent starter for Hull initially in League One and these days in the Championship.
And Kyle Lafferty just didn’t really do it, coming from Hearts.
So what does it boil down to?
Why do Rangers have effectively no regular Scottish players in the side these days?
We think truly there are a few factors and we’ll go through them now:
Yes, we’re the last place on earth to go with the woke nonsense of modern Scotland, but we do think that having an English manager, Warburton, followed by another in Gerrard saw focus on the English markets, markets they knew, and they generally didn’t trust the Scottish market.
The number of times Gerrard or Warburton went for English rubbish over Scottish was mind-blowing. Sheyi Ojo? Puhlease! Aribo over the better-performing Docherty. This carried on under Michael Beale who brought in four more English players (Butland, Dowall, Sterling and Cantwell) and not a single Scot.
Gio didn’t go near Scots either, or we should say Ross Wilson didn’t…
Scottish player prices:
We do admit the days of the best SPL players costing £2M as Kevin Thomson and Steven Naismith did are well gone. Now they’re three times that. And Rangers don’t have that kind of cash. Well, we do, but we spent it on Danilo and Dessers instead…
This comes into the first part as well, but ultimately fans (and maybe managers) seem to look down on SPL players. The same fans who rebuked the likes of Lewis Ferguson, Josh Doig, Aaron Hickey, Calvin Ramsey… these all went for big money and are now players into £10M range, £20M.
But because they didn’t have foreign names they were ignored.
Only now are we starting to see a small change in this psychology and fans want Shankland, they want Miovski, and they even nod more modestly in the direction of Killie’s Danny Armstrong not to mention now-Hellas star Doig.
Years of the snobbery and transfer policy has caught up with us and the squad is now filled, literally, with foreign rubbish that doesn’t enhance our team.
Meaning fans realise that Shankland really is better than Danilo and Dessers, that Armstrong is probably a better talent than Matondo…
Whether this means the club will follow suit and sign from closer to home time will tell.
But there’s also one more factor Ibrox Noise won’t ignore:
The laws of trade just changed after Covid. Prices which had been sane prior to the pandemic now rose sharpish, and why then reduce a price when folks are accepting and paying the new higher one? Meaning football players are the same and subject to the same inflation.
Rangers also missed out on the shock sales prices (£20M+) Celtic enjoyed from 2012-2020, because we didn’t have asset players to sell during that period as global player prices went through the sky, but we DID suffer the Covid rises meaning we have to now pay through the roof for players who used to cost a fraction of the current price.
Especially bad a situation as we now seek again to rebuild our rather substandard squad.
All in all there’s a lot of factors as to why we don’t sign the best from Scotland these days, but we do hope it changes.
We just want the best players wherever they come from.