Glasgow Rangers dodged a bullet by not signing Adrian Grbic in the summer, after Steven Gerrard’s side emerged as one of several top European clubs believed to be battling it out to land his signature.
According to an exclusive from TEAMtalk at the time, Rangers were eager to add to Gerrard’s attacking options by raiding Clermont Foot for Grbic as he went on to score 17 goals and supply four assists in 26 appearances in Ligue 2 last season.
The Stuttgart academy graduate enjoyed spells at Floridsdorfer AC and Rheindorf Altach before bursting onto the scene with Clermont after arriving at the the Stade Gabriel-Montpied on a free transfer in 2019.
His penchant for scoring free kicks saw the striker courted by a number of clubs over the course of the campaign, including Scottish Premiership arch-rivals Celtic, French Ligue 1 side Stade Brestois 29 and Premier League side Brighton.
Rangers faced another major obstacle in their attempts to sign the Austrian as well, as the French club held firm on their €10m (£8.9m) valuation, so they seem to have had a lucky escape given his struggles so far this season. FC Lorient signed the 24-year-old from Clermont in the end instead following their promotion to the French first division, whilst the Gers settled for Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten to bolster their impressive arsenal alongside Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe.
His announcement video went viral after he arrived at Lorient although his performances so far have struggled to justify Clermont’s colossal asking price. In fact, it’s fair to say that Grbic has found goals hard to come by this season, as he has failed to find the back of the net in his past seven fixtures in the top flight.
In ten appearances in Ligue 1 this season, the 24-year-old has only scored twice so far, so his goal-to-game ratio is pretty poor, whilst he is averaging just 1.3 shots and 0.1 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
Lorient boss Christophe Pélissier has even resorted to benching the club record signing in recent weeks in an attempt to try and trigger a reaction. Unfortunately, the goals have continued to dry up, at club level at least.
By comparison, Rangers’ new summer recruit Kemar Roofe is managing 2.1 shots per game in the Premiership, as per WhoScored, whilst he has scored four goals in seven league games for Gerrard’s side so far.
It goes without saying that the Light Blues have been here many times before. Former Ibrox boss Paul Le Guen brought a young Filip Sebo to the club for £1.8m from Austria Vienna back in 2006, only for the Slovakian striker to turn out to be a total flop, scoring just twice in 31 appearances for the Gers.
Pélissier seems to be having the same frustrations with Grbic, as he has made four appearances as a substitute so far, whilst he is showing he has obvious areas of improvement in terms of his passing and ability to hold on to the ball, which will give the Gers plenty of reasons why they should be glad they decided against signing the 5-cap Austria international.