Glasgow Rangers’ transfer business in the last few years has been decidedly hit-or-miss.
For every Connor Goldson there has been a Fabio Cardoso, and for every Ryan Kent there’s been a Carlos Pena, and it sometimes feels like there have been more poor signings than players who have actively improved the starting XI since the Ibrox club regained their place in the top flight in 2016.
One of the Gers’ most underwhelming signings was that of Umar Sadiq in 2018, who joined from Serie A side AS Roma on a season-long loan deal, having impressed at NAC Breda in the campaign prior, netting five times in 12 matches.
With Alfredo Morelos the only out-and-out striker at Ibrox at the time, Sadiq was expected to add competition and much-needed cover for the position, but his spell was nothing short of a nightmare. He made four appearances for the Light Blues, with a League Cup semi-final defeat to Aberdeen the last of those, and the loan deal was cut short before the January transfer window.
However, his stint at Rangers hasn’t set Sadiq back greatly – quite the opposite in fact, with the striker having recently sealed a move to La Liga side Real Sociedad for a fee of €25m (£21.6m) including add-ons.
His remarkable rise from failing at Ibrox to starring in La Liga has seen him travel from Partizan Belgrade to Almeria, which then sealed a move to replace Alexander Isak at Sociedad, and he even scored on his debut for his new employers.
His market value was just £1.62m when he was on loan at Rangers, and Steven Gerrard may have attempted to make the move permanent had Sadiq impressed in Scotland. Following his success recently, it’s a decision which the club will have regretted.
He was linked with European heavyweights such as Manchester City and Bayern Munich, a stunning turn of events for the player who couldn’t score against St Mirren, Aberdeen, Maribor or Kilmarnock during his spell in Scotland.
His resilience to go from a terrible spell at Rangers to facing Manchester United in the Europa League should be commended, yet it was another case of what might have been for the player at Ibrox, with the club’s hierarchy having a howler in jettisoning him so quickly considering what he has achieved since.