If you cast your minds all the way back to the extended summer transfer window, you will remember Ross Wilson embarked on a big spending spree in a bid to stop Celtic’s ten in a row.
Rangers recorded a £10.35m net spend in the last window, per Transfermarkt, as Wilson brought in the likes of Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe on four-year deals.
They also secured the signing of Bafana-Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu on an initial loan deal with the option to buy. But it hasn’t quite worked out for him at Ibrox, as he has been limited to mostly substitute appearances from the bench.
Just because a player is a fully-fledged international, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will succeed in the Scottish Premiership; a league that has become known for its physicality.
Rangers also stumbled across former Brighton centre-back Leon Balogun, who has turned out to be a rare gem of a find.
Rangers had a legitimate interest in signing the free agent after his £100,000-per-week contract was terminated by West Ham on transfer deadline day but a move didn’t materialise and he recently re-joined Bournemouth instead.
There’s no two ways of saying this – this has to be one of Wilson’s biggest regrets in recent memory. Steven Gerrard was on the hunt for a new central midfielder in the summer and he ultimately brought in Zungu as backup for Steven Davis.
However, it’s fair to say that they still arguably lack a technical operator in the midfield who can play second fiddle to Davis, as Zungu has failed to register a single goal or assist so far this season.
Able to play at the centre, on the left or on the right, Wilshere could’ve been exactly that. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola once said: “He’s quality, he’s smart and has the quality on the ball. He has a special quality with the ball, dribbling as a holding-midfielder to attack central defenders — it’s not easy to do that.”
In his last season at Arsenal alone, he took 1.2 shots and made 1.8 key passes per game, via WhoScored, – successfully completing 3.2 dribbles on average.
For context, this would have put him top of the Rangers squad ahead of the likes of Joe Aribo (1.7) and Ryan Kent (1.9). In comparison, Zungu has shockingly only managed 0.1 dribbles per game this season, as per WhoScored.
This sort of attacking threat would’ve been most welcome in the Govan side of Glasgow, as he has shown a willingness to bring the ball out from the back to put his team on the front foot.
AND in other news, Rangers loanee Kai Kennedy showed his class against Hearts…