Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side have stuttered their way through September, with thrashings being dealt out by Premiership rivals Celtic, as well as Ajax and Napoli in the Champions League.
There appears to be a creative spark missing from the Ibrox side, a player who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and create opportunities from nowhere.
With pressure on Ross Wilson and the Rangers board from the supporters following a poor end to the transfer window, if he had made a different decision on a key player from last season, the club might not be in this predicament.
Joe Aribo was always likely to leave in the next few seasons due to the impact he made in Scotland, with a host of Premier League teams linked with the 26-year-old as the season ended – and Southampton were ultimately his chosen destination.
With Aribo’s contract due to expire at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, Saints stumped up £10m to snatch the midfielder from the Ibrox side – and Van Bronckhorst has certainly missed his guile linking the midfield and attack.
With a rating of 7.23 on WhoScored for his performances last season, the midfielder ranked third in the Light Blues squad and underlined his importance to the team.
He created nine big chances, made 13 direct goal contributions, and made 1.8 key passes per match in the Premiership last time out, showcasing his creative abilities when Rangers were struggling at times.
He has played seven times for Southampton this season but has yet to showcase his true ability, scoring only once in the Premier League thus far.
The £45k-per-week star will undoubtedly settle into life in England with ease, as it took him a season to really get going at Rangers. Former Nigeria international Victor Ikpeba described Aribo as “exceptional” after Aribo had scored for the Super Eagles against Brazil three years ago.
Winning a league title, a Scottish Cup, and scoring in a major European final since will have given the player the confidence to believe he can succeed at the highest level.
Wilson may have made one of his biggest blunders yet by not persuading him to sign a new contract and it is already a decision that looks like it is coming back to haunt him.