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.
When Rangers signed Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea for a reported transfer fee of £12m (The Guardian), it was not only for a club-record but a Scottish transfer record as well and one that, to this day, still has not been smashed (Daily Record).
That record currently stands at 18-years-old, and although Old Firm rivals Celtic almost smashed it with their coup of Odsonne Edouard with a fee said to be around £9m (Sky Sports), neither of the two clubs have ventured close to it.
Rangers made their second-most ever expensive signing last month, though, when they managed to acquire Ryan Kent from Liverpool on a permanent transfer, although that was only thought to be worth just over half of what the Light Blues had paid Chelsea for their Norwegian striker – a deal of £7.5m was allegedly struck for the 22-year-old (Sky Sports).
Indeed, Flo’s arrival was a deal that appeared to rock Scottish football in terms of records, however, did he manage to shake the club as well once he started to play for the Ibrox outfit.
Dick Advocaat had admitted to trying to bring the tall forward to the club for a significant period of time and was delighted to finally bring him to Scotland.
“I’ve tried many times to get him,” he said. “The last time was in June when I phoned him, but he was still involved with Chelsea. I have been watching the Chelsea side since, and he has not been a regular. But I think he will gel very quickly here.”
There was plenty of expectation on the former Chelsea man’s shoulders when he arrived in Glasgow, as Jim Duffy put the pressure on him almost immediately by stating that he needed to be an instant hit for the Bears.
Speaking to the BBC in 2000, he said: “He needs to be an instant hit. Everybody likes time to bed into a new club, but he won’t get that time. But I would not be surprised if he scored his first goal on Sunday.”
Well, he started off in fine fashion as he netted a goal on his debut, which came in an Old Firm derby, and helped the Light Blues to a 5-1 trouncing of their arch-rivals in front of a packed out Ibrox crowd (BBC) and appeared to thrive under the expectation to do well.
Although he only spent two seasons at Rangers, the Scandinavian had a rather enjoyable time in front of goal for the Gers, as he managed to net 29 times in his 53 appearances for the Light Blues (per Soccerbase), helping them to a Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup in the 2001/02 campaign – despite the Daily Record appearing to state he was a ‘big-money flop’.
Indeed, with the way that transfer fees have sky-rocketed in the football world now, it is surprising a figure of £12m could still be the record within Scottish football for a club to purchase a player after almost two decades.
It was clearly a deal that shook Rangers at the time, however with Gerrard being given significant money to sign Kent last month and the likes of Alfredo Morelos possibly being able to command a figure north of £20m (per Football Insider), maybe it’s just a matter of time before that record is smashed to pieces and, perhaps, allowing him to follow in the footsteps of Advocaat.
Rangers fans, what were your reactions when the club signed Flo? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!
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