The likelihood that steady and significant recasting of the Rangers squad over the January window will continue in the same vein over the remaining weeks of the month was hinted at by Graeme Murty this week. After recruiting four senior loan signings, though, the Ibrox manager hinted activity could be stepped up in shedding players.
Were he not sidelined with a foot injury, there would be little doubt Rangers would part company with Bruno Alves in the coming weeks. They would be delighted to find takers for striker Eduardo Herrera – his Mexican compatriot Carlos Pena having been packed off on loan this month – Dalcio and Fabian Cardoso.
There seems little possibility of any of these players accruing any game time with Jamie Murphy Jason Cummings, Russell Martin and Sean Goss to fit into the Rangers set-up. Murty, pictured right, recognises that having a raft of players in footballing limbo can be problematic.
“We have a lot of injuries so we have to protect the safety of the club although it’s never ideal when you have loads of players not playing and we have to take care of those guys too,” he said, with even an injury list comprising Ross McCrorie, Graham Dorrans, Ryan Jack, Lee Wallace and Jordan Rossiter opening up few possibilities for a clutch of Pedro Caixinha signings.
“Discussions are on-going and I would expect more business to take place, particularly with guys going out. We are talking to players all the time and we’ve just to make sure we can align all of our needs together.
“I don’t have a definitive number for a squad. I just know I’ve got 11 happy players on a Saturday and the rest can be a draw on your time but I’ve said to those not in the starting 11 it’s their task to get in it.
“We don’t want players draining energy from the group. They have to work hard to make us better and I think Florida was key for that.”
The postponement of today’s Scottish Cup tie in Fraserburgh means that the first game for Rangers’ new arrivals, or newly arrived-back players following their Stateside winter training camp during the shutdown, will pitch them into the frenzy of an Aberdeen visit to Ibrox. The challengers for the runners-up berth in the Premiership meet on Wednesday and Murty believes that will be a truly immersive experience for those unaccustomed… ever or recently.
“They are going to find out in short order what it means to play at Ibrox in front of our demanding fans and making sure they are ready for that,” added Murty.
“All the guys that have come in have that desperation to do that, the burn in them, including the guys that have come back from loan. They’re desperate to get back on that pitch.”