Ross Wilson has joined as new Rangers sporting director – after turning the job down twice previously – and he comes with a big reputation, born on the back of bringing Virgil van Dijk to Southampton from Celtic.
He’s got fairly big boots to fill, though. Mark Allen has overseen a very successful period at Ibrox since Steven Gerrard arrived.
Since then, recruitment has been solid and Rangers are in a better position now than they have been for a long time, and we’re not just talking about being top of the league.
If Wilson is going to succeed and convince Rangers fans that he’s the man to take them forward, these are the things he has to do immediately.
Keeping Alfredo Morelos will be key in January. There isn’t a transfer window that goes by that he isn’t linked with another side or a big-money move and he’s already said his dream is to play in the Premier League. If he stays and he and Defoe carry on scoring at the same rate they are at the moment, Rangers could well be playing Champions League football next season.
Rangers have a big, strong squad but some new recruits could be needed, especially in the full-back positions. Transfers are not his only role but it’s what fans will be looking for and he joined Southampton as director of scouting and recruitment. January will be very interesting.
Possibly more important is the academy. Long-term success at the club will rely on bringing players through the youth set-up and into the first team.
Players like Stephen Kelly and Josh McPake are out on loan, with the latter coming back in January.
Dapo Mebude and Kai Kennedy are two other promising prospects.
Wilson should look to Leeds here, a club that has amazing synergy between their first team and the Under-23s, with players like Jack Clarke and Jamie Shackleton breaking through.
Rangers can’t keep on buying players and a successful academy is the only sustainable way forward.
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