By Steven Clifford | Guest Contributor
On the back of a disappointing season last year, it was clear when the transfer window opened Rangers would have a big job and a busy summer ahead of them.
As it slammed shut on Thursday evening the turnaround had been both meaningful and high in numbers. With a massive squad turnaround of nearly 25 players in and out of the club Rangers have certainly been busy this summer.
Arguably we needed that number to be higher but some realism is needed when it comes to that chain of thought, in footballing terms such a high turnaround is always dangerous and this job was quite simply more than a one window fix.
So what Rangers needed to do had to be meaningful and it had to be full of quality, whilst it's far too early to determine how each player will do individually there is no doubt on paper we look a lot stronger.
The goalkeeper position is solid and well covered, that was never an issue. In full back we now have two left backs and two right backs, a good balance with cover and whilst we can discuss quality it's clear the manager did not consider this a weakness.
It was in centre back where our big summer signing appeared in the form of Bruno Alves, undoubtedly bags of experience and still a full Portuguese internationalist, he certainly is a massive coup for our club. Partnered by Fabio Cardoso it is clear we have a more solid base than last season. Clint Hill, Rob Kiernan and Phillipe Senderos all departing without much cause for concern.
In the centre of midfield we have welcomed in Ryan Jack who already looks an assured solid acquisition. Along with the returning Jordan Rossiter, we are strong in defensive midfield positions. In front of them providing the ammunition comes Graham Dorrans, a classy signing from Norwich City who will prove a shrewd signing as the season goes on. Andy Halliday perhaps the biggest named departure as he left on loan. But again Rangers appear to be stronger on paper than before
But the biggest outlay and perhaps where our manager will really be judged upon is the signings of Mexican pair Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera. With an outlay of close to £3.5million, we all need to hope they both live up to their price tags and come good. Of course what is clear is both will need time to settle and blend into our culture and league style. Both have taken time but with both now featuring more in the first team and beginning to contribute hopefully our outlay will be repaid.
On the wings Daniel Candeias and Dalcio Gomes have bolstered the numbers, with young Aaron Nemane joining on loan from Man City. Candeias looks like he brings a strong presence on the right and hopefully early positive signs of his partnership with James Tavernier will continue to blossom. What we need to hope is both Nemane and Dalcio to provide competition for both wide positions, but with both being still young we will need to show patience.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the summer involved wide man Barrie McKay leaving, but with a young man seemingly having no interest in signing a deal and judging by his performance and attitude - therefore no interest in playing for our club - we really had no choice. We can be disappointed at the fee without a doubt, but arguably I don't think the club had much choice.
Up front, along with Eduardo Herrera, the real summer gem looks to have been found in Alfredo Morelos, the young Colombian already finding the net four times and looking lively. He looks stronger and a better option than previous players Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner, whose starts at their new club if anything prove that sometimes our club is simply too big for a player.
So on paper we are stronger but arguably as said above, the turnaround could have been higher to get us exactly where we needed to be. But with turnaround so high we must be realistic in that this was always going to be more than a one window fix. We don't have an endless revenue stream either and we can be pleased our club have been strong and resolute in certain transfers this summer
We can now plan for January and extensively scout our Bosman options, of which we have already shown an interest in two or three from our own league. January is also a fantastic opportunity to assess our new players and see exactly where we are and how we are performing.
As with results our player performance will require momentum and we will need to hope we settle early and go on a strong run result wise. Ultimately it is results that will decide just how successful this window has really been and just exactly what shape we are in come the next transfer window.
But what is also clear is this is now our squad, the manager and the players must be given our full support as we look to achieve our season goals. Time to show them support and stand by them, because when all is said and done, we need this to succeed.