Former BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster Hugh MacDonald claims Rangers have improved not because of their new signings but because of those who were at the club last season coming on leaps and bounds.
Steven Gerrard welcomed a number of new players in the last transfer window with Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey, Kemar Roofe, Cedric Itten and Bongani Zungu among the fresh faces to arrive at Ibrox.
However, MacDonald has pointed out that none of those players have had the biggest of impact on Rangers’ impressive start to the season and has instead pointed out the likes of Borna Barisic, James Tavernier and Ryan Jack for their improvement.
“What has happened with the team is that I don’t think it’s because of an influx of players that have made them better,” MacDonald said on PLZ Soccer’s Football Show.
“Although they seem to be a lot better [than last season], Roofe for example, and others, haven’t made a huge impact, it’s the players who were there last year that have been the strongest performers.
“Tavernier, Barisic, Arfield has had a good season. Jack has come on, Goldson has improved immeasurably. It’s the players that were there to have become a good team.
“Michael Beale must be mentioned in particular. He’s marshalled them into a style of play. They know what they’re doing, there’s a strategy about them and yes, they have the momentum. There’s no doubt about that.”
It is kind of hard to disagree with MacDonald on this because in a nutshell, he’s spot on.
Roofe, who arrived for £6million from Anderlecht, hasn’t had a massive chance to have a huge impact at Ibrox because of injury issues and the fact he has a lot of competition for his spot in Gerrard’s starting line-up.
Itten is also someone who was brought in to add strength in depth while Bassey, Jon McLaughlin, Balogun and Zungu were the same.
None of them were expected to come in and be starters for Rangers, they were all brought in to make the squad better and help Gerrard cope with the rigours of playing in the Scottish Premiership, Scottish League Cup, Scottish FA Cup and the Europa League.
That allowed Gerrard to keep the same core of players who impressed in the first half of last season and really improve them to the point of where they are right now – 11 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.