Philippe Clement’s new Rangers trade model is a problem for John Lundstram

Philippe Clement’s new Rangers trade model is a problem for John Lundstram
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 14: Philippe Clement, Manager of Rangers, looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SL Benfica at Ibrox Stadium on March 14, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There’s definitely a new model at Rangers, and it’s been formulated by Philippe Clement definitively.

All January signings were 22 or younger. 22 for Diomande, 21 for Silva and 20 for Cortes.

This has been clearly defined, that Rangers’ fundamental model for new players is sub-23.

Clement isn’t doing a Mark Warburton or Steven Gerrard and loaning mediocre players like Zelalem, Ejaria or Ojo, he’s earmarking asset players with quality CVs and bringing them in at a young age for future profit.

In fact, Philippe Clement has been clear about that, that the trading model had to be better – that although Rangers are a goliath club, there are bigger clubs and certainly bigger leagues, and talented young players want to test themselves at the highest levels and biggest environments which no fool would claim the Scottish Premiership is.

And that’s the model – bring in your Cortes’ and Diomandes, sign for about £3M-£5M (or less) and then sell for the bigger £7M-£15M in two or three years when they’ve shone.

And this is why we even wonder if Todd Cantwell would have been signed – he’s just turned 26 and while he does clearly have resale value, would he have fit in Clement’s model?

It’s fundamentally the problem with John Lundstram, Ryan Jack and Kemar Roofe.

All want to stay, and only Lunny is being negotiated with at all at this point – because they’re at odds with Rangers’ trading model, and there’s little to no resale value in any of them.

Lunny is the strongest and fittest, which is why the club is trying to find a solution – he is reliable.

But he’s too old, bottom line.

We can assure you Connor Goldson would not have been offered that deal today had Philippe Clement been in charge back in 2022. Ditto this board back then. He’s 31, and back then was 29, still far, far too old within our model and certainly wouldn’t have been paid the £40,000 a week that board ridiculously gave him for 48 months.

And that’s a major reason Barisic’s time is up, and why James Tavernier, big contributor though he’s been, isn’t guaranteed a new deal by any means when his current expires in 2026.

This new policy has been in place since Clement took over, but it’s become fundamental now to Rangers’ board and trading model, even after Clement himself moves on one day.

And we can see more of it happening this summer.

The players Clement wants are young, talented, high quality, and have resale value – that’s how you grow your squad into major value, and can then start to sign better, more expensive players in time, raising the standard of your whole squad even further.

The days of signing Cyriel Dessers (29) and maybe even Danilo (24) are a thing of the past.

It’s young, sub-23 players who have a proven CV (there will always be an element of risk with any signing whatever age) who add value to Rangers and grow into asset players.

This is why, as we say, Lunny’s contract hasn’t just appeared growing on a tree. Rangers do not want another Connor Goldson-esque situation of trapping themselves foolishly into a four-year deal on a player who will be 33+ and on £40,000 a week for that by 2026.

Clement has done the right thing, and is adopting the right approach – and yes, we might not know many if any of these players as household names, but that’s the job of the scouting network. To find the quality and the age Clement is happy with.

In January, it seems like they did.

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