Plenty of promise, but still to be proven – Rangers’ summer signings so far

Image for Plenty of promise, but still to be proven – Rangers’ summer signings so far

by Graeme Hanna

Shortly after the signing of Sam Lammers, Rangers boss Michael Beale stated that he is closing in on securing players for “key areas of focus”, as told to the club’s official website.

Four weeks ago, the Dutchman was confirmed as the fourth signing of the summer, following the acquisitions of Kieran Dowell, Dujon Sterling, and Jack Butland.

Since then, Abdallah Sima and Cyriel Dessers have been added to the squad and more importantly, they will be tasked with providing much of the firepower up front in the weeks and months ahead.

The Rangers squad are currently going through the rigours of pre-season preparations at their training camp at the Weimarer Land resort in Thuringia, Germany. A behind-closed-doors game has been mooted ahead of warm-up fixtures for the new campaign against Newcastle United, Hamburg, Olympiacos, and Hoffenheim.

The time spent on the training pitch and over the course of the friendlies will be crucial for Beale to plot his masterplan, with the new signings needing to hit the ground running, starting on 5th August at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock.

Further squad turnover will follow but has enough quality arrived to enable the club to return to the top in Scotland? That is an obvious talking point and a case that needs to be proven.

What is very encouraging is that we are finally about to witness a ‘new’ team, emerging from the shadows of the Steven Gerrard era. Moving forward is essential, especially after the false dawns following the landmark achievements of the 2021 title, the Europa League Final and Champions League participation, respectively.

The time is now, it is Beale’s time to deliver and if he doesn’t, he will soon be reminded that second is last in Glasgow, not that the significance of his first full season at the helm at Ibrox, is lost on the Bromley-born 42-year old.

At the time of Lammers’ unveiling, Beale sounded very pleased with the business taken care of, so far, whilst he provided the following on the remainder of his intended transfer activity.

“I am delighted with our progress so far in this summer transfer window,” he said.

“We have worked extremely well to recruit Jack Butland, Dujon Sterling, Kieran Dowell and Sam Lammers. We are ahead of schedule in our plans.

“The coming weeks will see more trading both in and out of the squad as we prepare for the season ahead. We have key areas of focus and we are close to securing our targets in those positions.”

With six targets landed already, the glaring areas to address are in central defence and central midfield. A further attacking option could follow but that will be for later in the window.

The situation around Jose Cifuentes will hopefully be settled soon, with his arrival in Scotland, with some reports suggesting a pre-contract has already been agreed. In that case, all that remains is obviously to settle a fee with LAFC but Rangers shouldn’t pay an excessive fee if the player is already tied up. The sooner it is sorted the better.

In Dowell, Sterling, Butland, Lammers, Sima and Dessers, there is plenty of promise and pedigree, if not ready-made proven quality, whilst there is a repeated theme from the Todd Cantwell signing in targeting rough diamonds who have somewhat lost their way or are needing a place to call home, to blossom and bloom.

All of these players provide plenty of optimism ahead of the challenges of another new season, at home and abroad, but a touch of further quality will be needed, particularly in defence, for Rangers to reclaim the Premiership crown, once again.

Much will depend on those who are sold in the coming weeks and it is imperative that several are moved on, for reasons of football and finance, in what will be another test for Beale in the absence of a ‘sporting director’ to consult and impact outgoing transfer business.

Share this article