Steven Gerrard has been busy once again this summer in the transfer market as he continues to fine-tune his Rangers squad.
In his second summer as manager of the Light Blues, he has proved to be as active as he was this time last year in regards to finding new recruits for his side as he looks to try and bridge the gap between his side and Old Firm rivals Celtic at the top of the table.
The likes of Filip Helander, Joe Aribo, Jordan Jones, Sheyi Ojo, Greg Stewart, George Edmundson and Jake Hastie have all arrived whilst Steven Davis turned his temporary stay into a permanent one (Transfermarkt).
However, Gerry Collins appears to have launched a scathing attack on the quality of those additions as he believes they are not good enough to help them finish above Aberdeen next season, whilst suggesting the loss of Daniel Candeias to Genclerbirligi (BBC) could have a huge impact on their chances.
Speaking to Football Scotland, the former Partick Thistle manager said: “It was a poor season, because Aberdeen the last four years had finished second, but I think they’ll regain that again because I’m not sure about the Rangers signings.
“I think they’ll finish third. I look at the guys they’ve signed: [George] Edmundson, Oldham Athletic. [Jake] Hastie, Motherwell – will he play? Jordan Jones, will he play? [Greg] Stewart, a good journeyman player. [Joe] Aribo, Charlton Athletic, never played at the highest level. [Sheyi] Ojo from Liverpool, who I haven’t seen my neighbour tells me he’s a good player – he’s never played a lot of games at the highest level.
“Aberdeen have strengthened their team, are you telling me [Filip] Helander is a better player than Joe Worrall? I don’t know.
“Rangers have lost Daniel Candeias, who I thought was a good player for them, I thought Candeias did a real good job. I thought Candeias worked well with [James] Tavernier, I thought those two complemented each other. Now Tav’s got a problem.
“I look at what they’ve brought in – Edmundson – £750k, Hastie – free transfer, Jordan Jones – free transfer, Stewart – free transfer, Aribo – free transfer, Ojo on loan. Where I see Rangers struggling to finish second is the previous manager brought in players where they pushed the boat out.”
Collins’ comments seem a little out there and are perhaps a tad harsh on the players that have arrived at Ibrox this summer.
Helander has international experience and has already played football within one of Europe’s top leagues, so that should be an addition that helps strengthen the side following Worrall’s departure. Barring him and Stewart, the other players to have arrived are all in the early stages of their careers and have already shown plenty of promise throughout their careers.
Edmundson received praise for his performance against Progres Niederkorn as Rangers News noted how solid he looked in the potential banana skin tie, as has Jones who has already wowed fans with glimpses of quality (Rangers News). Andy Halliday has already been vocal about Hastie’s contribution and believes he is a good young signing for the club following his impressive time with Motherwell (The Scottish Sun), whilst Gerrard has already admitted that he holds high expectations for the 20-year-old.
Collins is arguably right about Candeias’ departure this summer as the Portuguese winger was an influential figure on the field and had an impact when given the opportunity. He clocked up 97 appearances for Rangers and had been extremely productive for the Light Blues in the final third of the pitch as he has scored 14 goals and provided his team-mates with a further 25 assists (Transfermarkt).
He may have a point in that the players mentioned are hardly household names so there will be questions asked, but suggesting that they will not help to improve Gerrard’s squad seems to be a stretch too far.
Rangers fans, what do you make of Collins’ remarks? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!
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