Heart and Hand have tonight announced there are to be no further announcements on players, meaning Oscar Cortes will be Rangers’ third and final January addition and no striker will arrive.
Ibrox Noise had just published a piece suggesting we wouldn’t judge the January window till incomings and outgoings were final and confirmed, and on incomings at least, that appears now to be the case.
So how do we feel about this?
The January window’s work was ultimately 3 players:
Fabio Silva, Mohamed Diomande and Oscar Cortes.
A forward/striker, a utility midfielder, and a forward/winger.
Rangers needed more goals, and none of these will hurt in that regard, we hope.
Silva has failed to impress yet, but as with it all, we’ll give the lad time to do so. Diomande and Cortes obviously can’t be judged at all yet but their CVs are great and we feel the club did a very good job getting them.
We got rid of the apoplectically bad Sam Lammers, who’s now enjoying himself back home in Holland, and that was one hell of a good move, while a couple of other squad men also moved away.
But the end result was the big one that we needed most, a striker, a quality striker, and he’s conspicuous by his absence.
The board, the recruitment staff and Nils Koppen failed Philippe Clement here – the Belgian boss has been left with just Dessers and Silva, neither of whom are 9s or 11s.
We just babbled all this in a previous entry here so we’re not going to repeat that.
But there are a tonne of goals in Celtic’s front line, and a slight lack of them in Rangers.
That could well be the difference.
The three biggest goalscorers we have are Abdallah Sima, James Tavernier and Cyriel Dessers – one’s basically out for the season and another other is our right back.
The lowest of those three is Dessers, with 8 in 23. It’s not the big-scoring striker we need, Celtic have 5 of those in Scotland’s top 20 goalscorers.
Rangers have 28 goals in our top scorers, Celtic have 35 in their 5. But ours includes Sima’s 10. Take them away, and it’s just 18 between Tav and Dessers. We’re now 17 short of their goals, unless Turnbull gets his move down south, taking 5 away from their goals.
This is why we needed another striker, a reliable hitman to bag goals, a ~25 a season man.
We can’t rely on Tavernier all the time, and we don’t think Dessers is a big numbers kind of striker.
So it’s a disappointment for sure.
No Shankland, albeit Ibrox Noise demonstrated some reasons why on that one, but overall the big alpha striker we needed didn’t come.
That’s a source of frustration.
And yet, it wasn’t a terrible window.
We got two potentially excellent players, and another who could be excellent if he finds his game again.
So we certainly aren’t weakened from this window, aside losing half our best players to injury.
We will processes events more and analyse in due course but right now, there’s a lot to decompress on.