Clement Could Have A Rangers Impact Long After He Leaves

Image for Clement Could Have A Rangers Impact Long After He Leaves

Phillipe Clement has had a fantastic impact at Rangers since he joined in mid October as Michael Beale’s replacement, and after the Dundee postponement late on due to the state of the pitch, we entered the March international break sat in second spot in the Scottish Premiership table, but we are only one point shy of top spot and we have a game in hand, so it remains completely in our favour and ultimately in our hands.

32 games in under Clement across all competitions, the former Belgian international has racked up a very impressive 25 wins, and four draws, and our form has completely turned around following our very disappointing and inconsistent start to the 2023/24 campaign. So much so, in fact, that we are now incredible well placed to take the title once again if we fully use the advantage we have – having closed the earlier seven point gap to top spot.

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Whilst there is plenty of talk about Clement’s future as a manager and what will be an inevitable departure from Ibrox at some point, the now 50 year old Belgian former professional international defender shows little signs of being in a hurry to move on.

Although he has not yet completed a full season in charge of the Gers, three positive and more youthful signings (aged 22 years old or younger) in the last January transfer window more than implies that he has a long term vision here. Whatever ultimately happens this season, there are enough positives that we have all seen which suggests that with a positive summer transfer window that gives him players more capable of suiting his system and ethos, that we can more confidently kick on further. Of course, that does not include further improvement by the current crop of players who will be naturally attuned to his wants and demands with a full pre season campaign under him.

Especially in light of the more challenging pre season the club seem to be setting up for themselves, as that can only help the gaffer when it comes to in game management with the group given the quality we look set to come up against.

There is obviously another benefit to this more youthful, but productive focus that Clement seems to be chasing. It means we have a better trading model in place again, and it means we are less likely to need to move on older players on free transfers at the end of their contracts because they have no sell on value.

This is something we have missed in more recent years, despite the odd exception to the rule, and we can name Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo as examples, but given our size and history, we need a conveyor belt of youth (that will not make the first team) being sold on to bolster the first team budget.

That is not a cruel mindset – it is modern day football, and many will go on to very lucrative and successful careers, just not at our level.

It is an when, not if, that Clement will move on, particularly if he achieves with us what we all hope he will do, but he could very easily leave a lasting mark in the way some previous managers have not.

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