Rangers chief Ross Wilson dipped into the market to bolster Steven Gerrard’s squad with a number of additions over the summer.
The Gers attempted to improve their squad after winning the Premiership last season to give themselves the best chance of retaining their crown and keeping their rivals at bay, with Juninho Bacuna, John Lundstram, Fashion Sakala and Nmandi Ofoborh all coming in.
The only summer signing on whom they invested a transfer fee was central midfielder Bacuna. Rangers paid a reported £2.07m for his services and he has shown glimpses of what he can offer in recent weeks after working his way into first team contention.
He came off the bench in Rangers’ last match against Hibernian and impressed with his cameo. As per SofaScore, he completed 100% of his long pass attempts, won all of his aerial battles and created one chance whilst completing 93% of his passes. This shows that he was efficient and able to provide quality despite only being on the pitch for 11 minutes.
The midfielder joined the Gers from Huddersfield, where he made a name for himself in England after leaving Dutch side Groningen in 2018. At the time of his transfer out of his native Netherlands, his market value according to Transfermarkt was just £1.35m. He then went on to play 107 times for the Terriers, scoring 12 goals and setting up nine, whilst also playing 21 games in the Premier League.
By the summer of 2019, his market value had risen to £3.15m and, at the time of writing, it currently stands at £4.5m. This means that his valuation has soared 233% since his move to Huddersfield in 2018, with the 24-year-old showing positive signs of growth as a player in recent years.
Wilson has, therefore, pulled off a masterclass with the signing of Bacuna by getting him at the perfect time. For starters, the £2.07m Rangers are said to have paid for him is less than half his current market value, which suggests they picked up a bargain, but he also has scope to improve further.
Bacuna could be a player who is able to flourish at Rangers and further enhance his reputation in the game over the next couple of years. Take Ryan Kent as an example – his value has increased 697% since his permanent transfer to Ibrox in 2019, showing how he has been able to take his game to the next level under Gerrard.
If the former Huddersfield gem increases by the same percentage in the next couple of seasons, then he would be worth roughly £31m, a staggering bump up from the £1.35m at which he was valued upon his arrival in England. Of course, there is no guarantee that he will develop at the same rate as Kent, but his career suggests that the best is yet to come and Rangers could profit from that on and off the pitch in the coming years, which is why his signing came at the perfect time.