We think it’s probably fair to say that Niko Kranjcar was, perhaps, one of Rangers most disappointing signings in recent years. And that’s saying something.
The year was 2016, the month was June. Rangers had secured their long-awaited return to the Scottish Premiership after years of turmoil and hurt. Mark Warburton, everyone’s favourite (not) boss, was in charge and he was looking to get a foothold in the table via some marquee signings in the transfer market. So who did he look towards? Well, New York Cosmos’ very own Niko Kranjcar, who agreed a two-year deal to join the club in June.
A pleased Mark Warburton told the club’s official website: “We are delighted to secure a player of Niko’s undoubted qualities and very much look forward to welcoming him to the club.
“Such a signing shows our desire to achieve a positive balance between young, hungry players and the undoubted necessity of experience and maturity.”
Warburton probably should’ve taken into account the fact that his new signing was coming not from the MLS, which would’ve been slightly more impressive, but the North American League – a bygone competition that once housed Pele and Johan Cruyff and now lies in ruins.
And like his former home, so too did the midfielder. He looked desperately off the pace at the best of times and he clearly wasn’t sharp enough to compete at the same level as his hungry Rangers-loving teammates. The games just seemed to pass him by as he lay in a miserable lull daydreaming about the “good old days,” and fans noticed that. Unsurprisingly.
As if the effort and technical ability wasn’t enough, the club’s misery was compounded by the fact that he was likely raking in a fair amount of money. Rangers quite literally couldn’t afford to be lugging players like him around.
Fortunately, the nightmare came to an end in 2018 when Rangers confirmed they had terminated Kranjcar’s contract by mutual extent. Hooray.
Rangers fans, just how shocking was Kranjcar? Did he perform in any of your fixtures? Were you glad to see the back of him? Let us know in the comments below…
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