By Doug Ward

7th Nov, 2023 | 7:02am

Why on earth didn’t Rangers sign Lewis Ferguson?

The 24-year-old has been one of the best players in Serie A this season with Bologna with the boyhood Bear scoring three goals and supplying three assists in 11 league appearances for the Italian club.

His winner against Lazio at the weekend levelled him with Denis Law as the highest-scoring Scot in Italian top-flight history with the former Aberdeen and Hamilton midfielder going from strength to strength at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

It’s bizarre that Rangers never tried to sign Ferguson.

The midfielder’s ties to Ibrox run deep having spent a spell at the club during his youth days while it’s well known that his father Derek and uncle Barry both played for – and shone – for the Light Blues.

It seemed like such an obvious transfer but no one ever bothered even trying to make it a possibility, striking yet another tick on the checklist of mistakes at Ibrox in recent years.

Ross Wilson, Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst all no doubt had opportunities to bring Ferguson to Govan but for some reason, they ended up splurging cash on players who’ve already left Ibrox and been consigned to history.

Writing in the Scottish Mail on Sunday on 5 November (page 100 and 101), columnist Gary Keown tore to shreds the failure to sign Ferguson when he was at either Hamilton or Aberdeen.

“With every passing week, Ferguson is developing into the kind of player and with the kind of future he could never have dreamed of had he stayed in Scotland or settled for lower-league English football last year,” said Keown.

“Yet, it remains quite insane that Rangers never made him part of their set-up. Never even tried. Sat back when it looked like he was going to the likes of Watford or Millwall before moving on from Aberdeen and decided they knew best.

“As time progresses, Ferguson’s inexorable rise becomes more and more of an indictment of a chaotic transfer prolific that has their latest manager Philippe Clement – the seventh permanent one in nine years, don’t forget – combing through the wreckage of what Michael Beale left behind and no doubt wondering why he’s stuck scratching his head over useless, unfit players and unused cyrochambers rather than being tooled-up for a proper go at a decidedly ordinary Celtic.”

Stats by WhoScored show that Ferguson averages 2.2 shots per game, 0.8 key passes per game and 1.6 tackles per game for Bologna this season. He has also completed 86.7 per cent of passes attempted.

He’s doing it all in the Italian club’s midfield and would no doubt be a step up on players like Todd Cantwell and Sam Lammers, who’ve both played behind strikers this season.

Not only that, Ferguson’s transfer value will be massive now compared to what it was.

Scottish Premiership clubs – even Rangers and Celtic – are selling clubs when it comes to the best talent. Look at the way Celtic failed to keep the likes of Kieran Tierney, Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama while Rangers have lost Nathan Patterson, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey for big fees in recent years.

If Ferguson was at Ibrox, he’d be the most valuable player the club had ever had so not only have the Gers cost themselves a very good player by not going in for him previously but they have also lost millions upon millions.

In other Rangers news, the Gers want to hire this Liverpool chief.