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TBR View - Rangers can look to the past to solve summer transfer conundrum

Rangers have been left with a summer transfer conundrum as to what to do with Amad Diallo and Aaron Ramsey, but they can look to previous January deals as inspiration.

It would be fair to say that Diallo and Ramsey both arrived towards the end of the January transfer window with great fanfare – arrivals from Manchester United and Juventus to Scottish football tend to do so. But after both struggled for regular game time, should they be handed a further chance to impress?

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While Welsh midfield lynchpin Ramsey’s injury issues have been covered in depth and ad nauseam, there is no doubt that there is still an excellent footballer there, one who can make the difference on any given match-day.

January is always a difficult time for clubs seeking reinforcements. Unless you have tens of millions to throw at some hotshot’s release clause, chances are better than good that they’re available because they haven’t been playing regularly, whether it’s injury, lack of form, or the good old fashioned they’re-not-in-their-manager’s-thoughts. Under these parameters, bringing your new arrivals up to match fitness to really make the difference is a nigh-on impossible challenge.

If the plan is to incorporate them into next season’s fold, however, then a January arrival can lay the foundations for a phenomenal following campaign. Indoctrinating these players into how you play your football, as well as giving them a chance of a full pre-season can be an equation for excellence.

Enter Messrs Ramsey and Diallo. Diallo has certainly shown in flashes why United forked out the eye-watering-for-Scottish-football fee they did for the kid. Two goals in as many subs appearances after a lengthy period in the wilderness have shown there’s a player in there and that he could represent a very reasonable financial investment if given another season by the Europa League Finalists.

Rangers left with summer transfer conundrum

Ramsey would obviously need to take a bath on the remaining year of his Juventus wages if he were to become a realistic permanent option, but a fully fit, pre-season-prepared Aaron Ramsey could tear the Scottish Premiership apart.

The recent noises have been encouraging on both of these fronts. Ramsey has no future with the Turin giants and they may be tempted to bite the bullet and pay the majority of his contract up to get him off their books for good. Top-end Premier League interest has so far been unforthcoming and European football next season, either in the Champions or Europa Leagues, could be the carrot that keeps him in Govan permanently.

Incoming Man United boss Erik ten Hag will want to take a look at all his players, but chances are Diallo will be available again for a temporary switch and, if it can be done early doors, Rangers should make their move.

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There are very recent examples of this low-key January arrival in prep for a great following season approach working in Rangers’ favour though.

When Steven Davis returned for his second spell at the club, flanked by Jermain Defoe, they hadn’t been playing for their Premier League employers and needed to get away. With both being supremely professional operators, they showed occasional flashes in that January to May stretch, but their lack of match fitness was evident for the punters and management alike.

Fast forward to the start of the following season though, and they were all guns blazing, in tune with the manager’s style of play and ready to rock and roll back the years to produce some dazzling football, even if Covid cut that campaign short. As we’re all aware, the season after that produced manna from blue heaven in the procession to 55, obliterating the 10 in a row fantasy. Food for thought for Rangers?

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