RANGERS manager Mark Warburton reckons he has made his best signing yet after convincing Frank McParland to become head of recruitment at Ibrox.
The two men are great friends having worked together at Brentford and Watford and McParland has an impressive track record from his time as chief scout at Liverpool, where he pushed for Raheem Stirling and Jordon Ibe to be signed.
Warburton believes it is a major coup to bring him on board and McParland will be charged with identifying the players who can make Rangers a force in the Premiership next season, assuming they can win promotion.
McParland had only just taken on a similar role at Burnley when he was coaxed to Scotland and will start next week.
Warburton said: “It’s a really important hire for us. Frank’s qualities are undoubted given the level he has worked at Champions League level.
“[Assistant manager] David Weir and I know him very well. He is one of the very best in the business. His qualities means that we are excited he’s joining us. He knows how David and I work, we know how he works. He knows the type of players we are looking for, the attributes we look for, the character of the players we want on and off the pitch.
He knows the type of player David and I want here, he knows the profile and individual attributes we needMark Warburton
“If I am looking for an eight, a ten, a two or a four, he knows. He has a network of contacts. Frank is a doer. He gets the players, is well respected and worked at the highest level. So to get Frank is a coup.
“You live and die by recruitment – staff members and players, of course. He will be a very important part of the overall project, no doubt about that.
“It’s a big appointment for us. We have got another two appointments coming shortly. We are making progress in key areas.”
Weir and McParland shared a flat in Ealing when they worked together at Brentford, which was an interesting dynamic due to Weir’s Everton affiliation and the fact that McParland is a diehard Liverpool fan. However, with Warburton they worked well together leading Brentford to the brink of the Premier League play-offs after having taken them up from League One.
Warburton, who was rubbing shoulders with Phil Neville, Scott Parker and Brad Friedel last weekend working for his pro licence at the FA’s coaching HQ, St George’s Park, Burton-on-Trent,said: “Frank has people all over the country and around Europe that he uses.
“To work at the level he’s worked at, and the players he has been responsible for signing, I think he is one of the very best in the business.
“At Liverpool he had Raheem Sterling and the likes of Jordon Ibe and many others beside. He has a long track record of making these signings; some very good players. Did he take any persuasion? Yes he did because he was at a good club.
“It was a big call. Frank and I had worked together almost ten years. He knows what I want and I sold the project that is Rangers to Frank and he’s excited about it.”
Rangers have some conditioning issues overs Gedion Zelalem, Nathan Oduwa and fringe player Fraser Aird after the international break as they prepare to attempt to stretch their perfect start to the Championship season to ten matches against Queen of the South tomorrow.
Warburton said: “We’re just looking after the guys who have been away, including Ryan Hardie. It’s great they get international call-ups, but we have to look after t hem here after their long trips. They have fatigue and we have to try and monitor it.”