By Doug Ward

26th Jun, 2022 | 11:07am

Rangers: Gary Keown tells Ross Wilson to put money where his mouth is as he slams transfers

Mail on Sunday journalist Gary Keown has urged Rangers to start making “serious, permanent signings” after underwhelmingly tying down older players to new contracts.

Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield and Steven Davis have all been offered new deals by the Gers despite their advancing years and, for Davis at least, a decreasing role in the senior side.

Keown wants Ross Wilson to move away from signing players like Aaron Ramsey and Amad Diallo, who ultimately flopped after arriving on loan in January.

Instead, he wants to see more thought going into long-term additions at Ibrox.

“Turns out Giovanni wasn’t joking, then, when he said at the end of last season that Rangers had not reached the natural end of a cycle,” said Keown in the Scottish Mail on Sunday on 26 June (page 56).

“There’s a long way to go in the transfer window, of course, but new contracts for Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield and Steven Davis, given they make up the combined age of a fossil from the Mesozoic Era, feel decidedly underwhelming. Hardly a move to counteract the staleness often evident in last season’s failed league campaign.”

Keown added: “If nothing else, the retention of these guys brings continuity. Now, given the funds raise from Europe and the expected sale of players, sporting director Ross Wilson need to bring in proper, serious, permanent signings that will freshen and strengthen the squad significantly.

“No more Aaron Ramsey nonsense. No more ‘wonderkids’ on loan from England. Guys with pedigree on contracts. And a fair number of them.

“Wilson talks a lot about future planning at Rangers, but it’s time to put up or shut up.”

He’s got a point

In terms of the quality of the squad, Rangers haven’t gone backwards over the last year. But they haven’t gone forward either.

Of all our signings last year, John Lundstram easily turned out to be the best while the jury is still out on Fashion Sakala.

Nnamdi Ofoborh, Juninho Bacuna, James Sands, Diallo and Ramsey didn’t strengthen the squad at all and could be seen as flops.

John Souttar has been our only addition since last season ended and we knew that was going to be the case back in January when he agreed a pre-contract deal to join from Hearts on a free transfer.

Since January, Nathan Patterson and Cedric Itten have been sold to boost the coffers at Ibrox while expired loans for Ramsey and Diallo are bound to have freed up more funds.

As Keown said, there are also going to be funds from our European campaign and it would be a shock if no one is sold this summer to further boost the transfer budget van Bronckhorst and Wilson have.

We need to start making some proper statement signings and showing that we’re capable of taking the Scottish Premiership title back off Celtic.

Our squad isn’t getting any stronger right now whereas the one across Glasgow, as much as we hate to admit it, is.

In other Rangers news, the Gers are set to bank over £20million on these two players.