Rangers have experienced the highs and the lows of the transfer market over the years and Ross Wilson is the latest chief at Ibrox to navigate his way through the windows.
He has pulled off some impressive deals, including the signings of Leon Balogun, Ianis Hagi and Joe Aribo, but he has also been culpable for signings such as Cedric Itten and Amad Diallo. This illustrates how difficult it can be to have a high success rate as you can never guarantee that a player will come good.
Whilst you can look at moves over the years and judge whether they were the right ones or not, you can also look back at players the Gers wanted and failed to get.
One famous player the club missed out on a deal for was Barcelona teenager Lionel Messi. The Gers reportedly enquired about a swoop when he was 17 in 2004 and did not take it any further after they were unable to secure a loan, with the Glasgow giants seemingly not exploring the chances of a permanent move.
Thankfully, the Argentine winger didn’t amount to much and hasn’t been heard of on the world stage since… right?
Well… not exactly. The forward was valued at just £2.7m by Transfermakt at the time of Rangers’ enquiry, which – for some context – is less than Fashion Sakala (£3.6m), Amad Diallo (£16.2m) and Kemar Roofe (£3.6m) are worth now.
Since then, he has won just the seven Ballon d’Or trophies and scored 680 goals for Barcelona and PSG combined, whilst also providing 314 assists. He scored 474 goals and manage 216 assists in 520 La Liga outings for the Catalan giants, winning four Champions League titles along the way for the Spanish side.
By the age of 30, Transfermarkt valued Messi at a whopping £162m. Rangers, meanwhile, have a total squad value of £118.85m, which illustrates how big of a talent the Argentine icon has been throughout his career.
His former Barcelona teammate Carles Puyol previously dubbed him an “alien” and legendary manager Jose Mourinho called him the “god of football”, with his out-of-this-world career statistics backing up the praise. He has dominated football throughout his time on the pitch and Rangers missed out on the chance to watch him play for the Light Blues.
Imagine Lionel Messi in a Gers kit firing in goals with his left foot at Ibrox, even if it was just for one season… it is the stuff of dreams and it could have been a reality. One that got away…