It is safe to say that Rangers have come under a fair amount of criticism this season in their second campaign back in Scotland’s top flight, whether that be fully warranted or not.
The club is still under huge financial strain and had clearly appointed a manager that was not up to the task in Pedro Caixinha.
Graeme Murty may not be the man for the job, either.
However, as a novice head coach, the Englishman can still hold his head high and probably deserves more credit than he and the club have been given, considering the difficult circumstances under which he was thrust into the Ibrox hot seat.
Nevertheless, this summer the Rangers squad needs a significant overhaul and there are definitely more than three players that need replacing.
We have selected a trio of individuals, who we believe should be let go in the best interest of the club.
Portugal legend Bruno Alves may be an A-list type signing for Rangers.
However, as the centre-half has proven over the course of the season, his best days are probably behind him.
If the Gers were still currently trying to fight their way through the lower leagues and back into the top flight, Alves may have bee better suited under these circumstances.
Nonetheless, as the club now looks to mount any challenge towards Celtic, they need a top quality centre-back pairing whose fitness they can rely on.
Unfortunately for the Gers, Alves has proven neither of those things.
Next season, the former Porto star will be turning 37 year of age, and given his astronomical wages, the best option would be simply to cut ties.
Another Portuguese centre-back, Fabio Cardoso is the epitome of everything that went wrong under Pedro Caixinha.
Signed last summer for a significant £1.3 million from Vitoria, the 23-year-old has been a huge disappointment and has made only 11 league appearances so far.
It would be surprising if Rangers are able to recoup the entire transfer fee spent on the youngster, given his lack of rapport with the Ibrox faithful, plus his distinct lack of quality when it comes to defending.
However, aged 23 the club will still be able to command some sort of fee for his services. Perhaps selling him back to a club in his native land where he has a stronger reputation.
Cardoso must go this summer. Before it has even really gotten started, his time at Rangers is definitely up.
The third player on this list completes a trio of Pedro Caixinha signings. Mexican forward Eduardo Herrera arrived for a sizeable £1.5 million in the summer and has two goals in over 20 appearances to show for his time at the club.
Herrera has been a huge disappointment at Rangers, despite being a full Mexico international, and at 29, is by no means a developing player.
Despite enjoying some decent goal scoring seasons earlier in his career which saw him achieve tallies of 19 and 17 for UNAM, Herrera is simply not the prolific goalscorer the club are after, nor a target man to be partnered with the likes of Alfredo Morelos or Jason Cummings.
When the window opens up, the time has come for Herrera to be shown the door.
Rangers outcast Fabio Cardoso scores first goal for new club
New Rangers boss Steven Gerrard decided Cardoso had no Ibrox future, but he looks happy away from Glasgow.
Rangers have gone through wholesale changes this summer under the guidance of new manager Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool legend has moved to strengthen the team across the board, in particular the defensive positions.
He has made several additions at the back, leaving fringe defenders at the club looking for ventures new.
One such player was Fabio Cardoso. Signed by Pedro Caixinha, the Portuguese centre-back arrived at Ibrox with plenty of promise. He cost £1.3 million from Vitoria Setubal and had plenty of experience with his nation at youth level. But his time in Glasgow was forgettable.
He played just 12 times for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. With the writing on the wall for the upcoming season, the player and Rangers agreed on a mutual termination at the end of July.
Cardoso has since landed on his feet. He headed back to Portugal, joining perennial underdogs Santa Clara. Promoted from the second-tier last season, Cardoso’s new team are now hoping to establish themselves in Portugal’s top-flight.
At the weekend they drew a thrilling encounter with Sporting Braga. After being 3-0 down at half-time they fought back to draw 3-3. Cardoso even did something he never managed to do whilst at Glasgow Rangers. The 25-year-old scored the equaliser with a thumping near-post header.
Rangers fans will harbour no real ill-feeling toward Cardoso. He was a product of the shambolic Caixinha era.
Scottish football was simply not for him. Hopefully, he can find some success back home.
Three ins and outs Rangers could complete this week
The final full week of the transfer window is here and there is a clear feeling that Rangers’ squad is not yet complete. Steven Gerrard has demanded more additions for his team, despite remaining unbeaten in the job, and some new faces could soon arrive at Ibrox.
Speculation continues to surround several potential additions, with these three being some of the most strongly linked with the club…
Kyle Lafferty (Hearts)
Edinburgh News report that Hearts have already rejected one offer for their talisman and his future remains unclear, as his own manager Craig Levein has confessed. With not long left in the window, a solution is required one way or the other.
“We are still talking. There is nothing more I can say at this moment in time. The dialogue has been sporadic. I don’t want to go into any details but I am not resigned to losing him. I am keeping people up to speed to inform that the Lafferty deal is not dead.”
With doubts over Alfredo Morelos’ future too, Lafferty could be brought in more urgently than ever if a serious bid is made for the Colombian.
Jack Simpson (Bournemouth)
Simpson has been linked with Rangers for some weeks now, and the Daily Record say that he is close to completing a move to the club at last after delays have prevented him from making the loan move from Premier League team Bournemouth.
With injuries now clearing up on the south coast, Simpson will be allowed to depart for Rangers and add another option in the heart of defence where Gerrard has made it clear that the squad is lacking depth.
Charlie Adam (Stoke City)
Perhaps the most unlikely to join, The Telegraph claim that Rangers were interested in bringing him back to the Scottish Premier League earlier this summer but a deal never came off. Now, that interest has faded, but Stoke City have told the veteran that he can leave the club.
Whilst Adam is unlikely to be top of Gerrard’s wishlist, stranger things have happened and his experience could be valuable for a young and inexperienced team.
Three things learnt from Rangers’ win over Kilmarnock: Morelos can’t be sold
Rangers have progressed to the next round of the Betfred Cup after seeing off Kilmarnock thanks to an inspired display by Alfredo Morelos in a 3-1 win, with all three goals coming through the Colombian.
Just before the half hour mark he broke the deadlock, heading in James Tavernier’s cross. Before half-time, he scored again, shrugging off pressure from the Kilmarnock defence and firing a pinpoint finish into the corner of the net.
With Rangers in control, disaster struck when Borna Barisic deflected a cross into his own net early on in the second half. The pressure was eased by yet another Morelos goal as Tavernier set him up yet again to tap into the net and complete his hat-trick.
Here’s what we can take from the tie…
Rangers can’t afford to lose Alfredo Morelos
Just as speculation about interest in the 22-year-old heats up again, he produces arguably his greatest performance in a Rangers shirt by netting a hat-trick against Kilmarnock with three impressive finishes.
Gerrard opted to withdraw the striker, who was on a yellow card, after his third goal but if he had continued he could have scored more. It’s clear that if Rangers want to be a success, they need a prolific goalscorer like Morelos, irregardless of whatever money is put on the table from elsewhere.
Steven Gerrard will take every competition seriously
The Rangers boss put out a strong side to face Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup and made it clear that he will not be taking any risks, despite also handling a title challenge in the Scottish Premier League and hoping to reach the Europa League group stages.
After several rounds of qualifiers, it would have been easy for the boss to rest key men like Morelos but he opted to stick with them and give the team the best possible chance of victory and reaching the next round.
James Tavernier is just as crucial to this team as Morelos
Many will be distracted by the headlines and the fact that Morelos netted a hat-trick, but on closer inspection it’s clear to see that the same man set up all three of his goals: James Tavernier. From full-back, he is proving to be one of the team’s most creative outputs.
The 26-year-old has been one of the team’s most outstanding performers since Gerrard arrived and it’s clear that he is fundamental to his coach’s plans.
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