“It has given me time to find out more about him, how he works and have some really detailed conversations so we can't wait to start the relationship. It is only around the corner so that is fantastic news for the club." Steven Gerrard was positive and enthusiastic when was asked about the appointment of Ross Wilson, former Southampton Director of Football Operations, as Rangers' Sporting Director. Wilson replaces Mark Allen as the man that Gerrard will have to trust and rely upon to deliver the club's recruitment strategy. That strategy, and its execution, has maybe not quite been up to the standard of a forward thinking club in recent years.
You can feel it; that chill in the air, the darkness when you leave for work and darkness on your return home. The constant defrosting of your car in the morning and the taking down of the Christmas tree. There really is not a lot to look forward to in the month of January. Except for the January sales, of course. The thrill of trying to snag the bargain buys that will see you through the year. Well, my friends Dave King, Mark Allan and Steven Gerrard were first in the queue this year: picking up the bargains before anyone else even had a chance to browse through the rack.
It's January, the sales have started and the bargain hunters are already out in force. Football clubs are no different. However, the January transfer window can be a difficult time for clubs to find value in. Chairmen can be frozen with indecision. Stick or twist? Sky Sports News' yellow-tied deadline day hysteria looms ahead. Will you be stuck with a dud on a 36 month contract if you make the wrong move? Can you trust your team's manager to pick the right transfer targets if he can't even pick up three points now and again? Is the journeyman centre back you're so keen on worth the money? Do you need to keep the money for a rebuilding project and a new manager in the summer? When do the shops close? All these questions are making me need some retail therapy! Pure Fitbaw has braved the crowds queuing at 6am outside shopping centres, cast our eye over umpteen displays of last season's out of style stock and picked out a handful of bargains that are currently plying their trade in Scotland's SPFL League 2.
Transfer deadline day can be an anti-climactic event - promising so much in the build-up but delivering little aside from a few middle of the road moves and a lot of reporters waiting idly at grounds where nothing is happening. Still, we are all lured into watching Jim White and his yellow tie even if his reporting colleague, seemingly there just to be a glamorous looking sidekick, tends to actually offer more than White when it comes to football knowledge on the odd occasion she is permitted to speak. The highest profile departure from the SPFL to cross the border on their earlier than normal deadline day this season was Josh Windass in a move to Wigan for a reported £2.5 million fee. Here at Pure Fitbaw we have highlighted a few more players that should have looked for an exit strategy at that point and brought a little more excitement to deadline day.
Trouble is brewing in paradise as Celtic are in dire need of adding new blood to a squad that is about to come up against their biggest test in recent years. There seems to be a disconnect between manager Brendan Rodgers and the Celtic board in terms of their transfer policy and, given the improvements that Rangers, Hibs and Hearts have made this summer as well as the difficulty of navigating multiple Champions League qualifying rounds, this is happening at a critical time. In the green and white hoops you are always only as good as your last performance and it already seems like so long ago that the club made history with a double treble. Pure Fitbaw has some potential solutions to shore up the Celtic backline but first let's examine why a fix is needed before August 31st when the transfer window closes.
As we say goodbye to the glitz and glamour of the World Cup, we remind ourselves that our beloved league football is just days away. The Scottish Premiership and the highs, lows and downright amusing stories that come with it returns on August 4th. As such, it’s time to profile some of the impressive transfer activity that has taken place across the league this summer. Chequebooks have been cracked open to bring in big names and we have also seen the return of some familiar faces in clever transfer negotiations. Here are our top 10 transfers of the summer so far.
As Alfie Mawson nears the completion of a £20 million move from Swansea City to Fulham F.C. we take a look at central defenders manager Graham Potter could consider as replacements while also further strengthening the Scottish connection at the club. Pure Fitbaw profiles three players the Swans could attempt to recruit for the campaign to bounce back from last season's relegation to the English Championship.
Let's look at how Everton performed last season and what that suggested they needed, what they get by buying Richarlison and what some other options might have been. The final section is also relevant for other clubs as the young, goal scoring wide forward transfer merry-go-round seems to have swung into action with Barcelona stealing Malcom from under Roman noses, Europe's giants hovering vulture like around Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey and Brighton picking up the Eredivisie's top scorer Alireza Jahanbakhsh for around £17 million.
Steven Gerrard has made it no secret that the Rangers squad, on his arrival as manager, was not up to his expectations. Back to back third place finishes in the SPFL Premiership along with a lack of any silverware prior to Gerrard's appointment do seem to support his thoughts that, as well as there being issues with the leadership and tactics prior to his arrival, the standard of player has not been good enough. The addition of these new signings and the integration of youth prospects makes the current Rangers squad a group of between twenty-five and thirty players all of whom will be aiming to be part of the starting eleven. This is unsustainable for Rangers - having the bear the wage costs of a lot players who are unlikely to be first team regulars would be a clear waste of resources. Pure Fitbaw will take a look at three players (not including those we already know Gerrard has asked to leave such as Herrera, Cardoso and Forrester) who should look to leave Rangers as a result.