Glasgow Rangers‘ stuttering start to the campaign continued on Wednesday evening with a 4-0 thrashing in their first Champions League group stage tie since 2010/11.
The defeat to Ajax followed on from last weekend’s woeful Old Firm defeat by the same scoreline and the pressure could soon grow on Giovanni van Bronckhorst, although it appears that he hasn’t been backed quite as well as some of the Ibrox faithful would have hoped.
Ross Wilson should have given the Dutchman some funds to add a player or two into the squad before the transfer window shut last week, especially with around £28m-£30m boosting the Ibrox coffers from Champions League group stage qualification.
However, Wilson may have already made his biggest blunder of the summer by failing to tie down two of Rangers’ biggest assets heading towards January.
Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent are into the final year of their contracts, which both deals expiring in 2023, so it represents an important time for the manager.
These two players are vital for the club, especially going forward, and not just in terms of winning football matches.
They could well command the biggest transfer fees out of the entire squad based on Transfermarkt valuations; and with the player trading model seeing Joe Aribo leaving for around £10m and Calvin Bassey departing for £23m, if a wealthier club makes an offer, the likelihood is that Rangers will sell.
Having Kent and Morelos in this precarious situation simply means that clubs can lowball Rangers with offers in January to tempt them to sell early, or the two players can easily sign pre-contract agreements elsewhere.
With 143 Rangers goals between them (Morelos 113, Kent 30), the duo were an integral part in the Light Blues winning their first Premiership crown in ten years in 2021 and have become fan favourites during their time in Glasgow.
Both have had slow starts to the season, with Morelos coming back from injury and Kent failing to score in the league, but there is no denying that Van Bronckhorst must tie down both of them to long-term deals, as otherwise it could come back to haunt him.