Rangers have been a sinking ship in 2020, failing to win five of their league matches and falling 13 points behind their rivals Celtic.
One of the most concerning aspects has been their leaky defence. Basic errors are made on a frequent basis with Tavernier’s failed clearance against Hearts still fresh in the mind. Connor Goldson’s defensive lapse against Hamilton was also a moment to forget.
Another issue is the form of Alfredo Morelos – he is yet to score in 2020 and is stuck on 29 strikes for the campaign.
It looks likely that Rangers will end the season without a trophy and still some way off Celtic. Owner Dave King commented in April 2019 that he thought the Light Blues were bridging the gap. In doing so, he made a remarkably bold claim.
“It was never going to be easy and it is extremely gratifying to have witnessed the progress that has been made over the last year. We are now within tangible reach of Rangers becoming the dominant force in Scottish football again,” he noted.
Almost a year on, the end goal of becoming the primary force in the SPFL is still far away. Unfortunately, they may have to wait even longer.
With Celtic’s potential deal with Adidas in mind, their financial firepower will presumably be even greater, meaning their room for error in the transfer window will be far larger than Rangers’. That’s a huge issue for a club who now have Ross Wilson as their Sporting Director.
He walked through the doors at Ibrox in October of last year and has only had one transfer window to conduct since arriving. Ianis Hagi, who has scored three times after joining on loan, was an impressive capture but there is little to suggest he’s a safe pair of hands when you give him a transfer budget.
Previously at Southampton, Wilson made some catastrophic blunders. In fact, he wasted over £83.1m on players who simply didn’t cut the mustard at St Mary’s.
The most recent of those was Che Adams. The Saints forked out £15m for the striker in the summer but he is still yet to score a goal. That’s a similar tale for Mohamed Elyounoussi and Guido Carrillo who cost £16m and £19m respectively. They’re out on loan after failing to hit the back of the net in their debut campaigns.
The mistakes extend beyond attackers. Defender Wesley Hoedt was brought in for a fee of £15m before going onto make two individual errors leading to goals and putting the ball in the back of his own net twice.
Two-goal midfielder Mario Lemina (£18.1m) hardly set the world alight either.
The fact of the matter is that Wilson clearly isn’t one to spot top-level talent. He did bring Virgil van Dijk to the south coast but that is a rare jewel on his rather underwhelming crown.
If Rangers are going to bridge the gap they’ll need to strengthen in the transfer window and be smart about the way they spend their money. It’s worrying, therefore, that Wilson has had a habit of spending big with little success.
If he continues to do so then King’s ultimate aim for Rangers will take a considerable period of time to achieve.