By Ibrox News Speaking to Tam McManus

13th Mar, 2023 | 5:10pm

James Sands shown up at Rangers as £4m permanent transfer cancelled in March - pundit

We’re delighted to welcome Tam McManus as our exclusive Rangers columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox

Tam McManus can see why James Sands’ loan spell at Rangers was terminated early with the midfielder returning to New York City on 1 March.

Sands, 22, went back to the States on 1 March to sign a new deal with New York after spending just over 12 months at Ibrox.

Rangers did have the option to sign Sands for £4million [Daily Record] but that clause was passed on for the USA international to return to Major League Soccer.

Sands had a mixed spell at Ibrox, playing mostly as a centre-back despite the fact he’s mainly a central or defensive midfielder.

McManus believes that he was forced to be playing outside of his comfort zone this season due to injury issues and that may have painted a poor picture of the now-former Ibrox loanee.

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Speaking to Ibrox News, McManus said: “I felt a wee bit sorry for Sands because he’s a central midfield player.

I don’t think he’s good enough to play in their midfield.

Rangers had a lot of centre-back injuries earlier in the season so he was thrown into some tough Champions League games at centre-half against top teams.

He really got shown up for not being a centre-half but that’s not his fault – he’s been asked to play in a position that’s not his favoured position.

As I said, I don’t think he’s good enough and Rangers are starting to get bodies back so there wasn’t any space for him to play.

It’s best for him he goes back to the MLS.

He came in as a stop-gap and I don’t think a lot of money was spent on him.

I don’t think he was a hit but he wasn’t a big miss either.”

Sands played 41 times in all competitions for Rangers, scoring one goal which came in the 3-2 win over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup in February.

In other Rangers news, Ally McCoist has shared his “penny-pinching” verdict on a player reportedly agreeing to quit Ibrox.