In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
Sometimes, a club can come out of nowhere and shock many onlookers with some of the deals that they manage to make happen. Indeed, Rangers appear to have managed to complete some of their own over the years, however there might just be an argument that one deal they made in 2004 was one of the biggest of them all.
In May of that year, Alex McLeish managed to beat the likes of Bolton Wanderers to the signature of Dado Prso as he was released from AS Monaco on a free transfer (Independent), especially when Sam Allardyce had believed a deal had already been tied up several weeks previously.
He told the Telegraph at the time: “I thought we had a deal tied up three weeks ago and now he’s gone elsewhere, but maybe that’s the measure of the man.”
At the time, Prso had been having an excellent season for the Ligue 1 outfit in front of goal and had become a real handful for defences all across Europe because of his tall and powerful frame.
Standing at 6ft 2in (Transfermarkt), the then-29-year-old had helped Monaco to reach the Champions League final after scoring against Chelsea in the semi-final, although he was unable to bring the trophy back to the French principality as Porto overcame the challenge they posed.
In the 143 matches he played for Monaco, Prso managed to find the back of the net 45 times and earned himself a place in Croatia’s 2004 European Championship squad, for whom he made 39 appearances and scored nine times.
Indeed, he carried that good form with him when he headed to Ibrox, as he managed to make himself a nuisance in the final third, totalling 24 goals and 15 assists in his 92 appearances for the Light Blues (Transfermarkt).
Having come into the side to replace the likes of Michael Mols and Egil Ostenstad and to provide the likes of Nacho Novo and Shota Arveladze with some much-needed competition, Prso also managed to make himself a firm favourite with the Bears as McLeish later revealed that the Croatian was his ‘best ever signing’.
He helped the Bluenoses secure another domestic double in his first season at Ibrox, having helped the club to win the 2004/05 Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup (TransferMarkt).
Of course, a number of titles have been won since the Croatian’s days at Ibrox, but Steven Gerrard now has Jermain Defoe helping to lead his line in what was, essentially, a modern-day surprise transfer given his standing as a Premier League player at the time and the fact he was involved in Gareth Southgate’s England setup as recently as 2017.
Gerrard is also thought to be on the lookout for a “quality” addition (Football Insider), so perhaps he could look to use McLeish’s coup of Prso to help him in his own pursuit to bring a player to Ibrox that has the potential to shock Rangers further.
Will Rangers win the league?
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