As Scottish Premiership clubs enter the January transfer window, Craig Fowler looks back upon their business so far this season and ranks every signing out of ten.
Matt Gilks - 7
This has been a qualified success. Sure, he’s only played five games, all in the Betfred Cup, but he was signed as a back-up and he’s performed well when called upon. He was Rangers’ best player in the semi-final defeat to Celtic, a game that would have been a won by a far greater margin if not for the veteran stopper.
Lee Hodson - 6
Signed to provide cover at both full-back positions and a more reliable defensive option on the right than James Tavernier. Through 14 games, that’s exactly what he’s done.
Philippe Senderos - 1
File this under the ‘didn’t make sense at the time, makes even less sense now’ category. Senderos has never been the most composed of centre-backs, and playing in a system that would expose his flaws, at the age of 31, was never likely to work. Sent off on his debut, the Old Firm derby, he aided in Celtic’s 5-1 victory and has played only once since.
Clint Hill - 7
Signed for his experience, leadership and organisation skills, three things that were badly lacking from the Rangers defence, Hill has been a pleasant surprise for Rangers fans who looked at his advancing age and feared the worst. He’s the first-choice centre-back and it’s no surprise the club are currently looking to extend his one-year deal by another season. Downgraded from an 8 to a 7 because his aforementioned stature as the leading defender, at age 38, highlights the wider problems with Rangers’ recruitment, especially at the centre-back position. He’s also missed some games through injury.
Matt Crooks - 2
The pre-contract signing from Accrington has made only three appearances to this point as his availability was restricted by injury in the opening three months. He got a rare start against Hearts in late November and did not impress. With reinforcements expected this month it’ll likely be a lengthy and frustrating journey back to the starting XI for the towering midfielder.
Jordan Rossiter - 3
Similar to another player we’ll soon get to, Rossiter may have been a success were it not for injury. A calf problem has kept him out the majority of the season, as he’s made only six appearances and hasn’t played since August. When he did feature he largely impressed, including a man-of-the-match worthy showing at Dundee.
Joey Barton - 1
The worst transfer of the Scottish football season bar none. What more needs to be said that hasn’t already? Big profile, bigger mouth, underwhelming performance, massive fall-out, larger wages. He never looked a comfortable fit in Mark Warburton’s system and the frustration boiled over soon after the first Old Firm game. Warburton eventually showed some tactically flexibility as the campaign went on and Barton may have started to perform had he still been around, but he was long gone by then.
Niko Kranjcar - 3
The midfielder toiled to adjust to the pace of Scottish football in his opening couple of months, but there were signs that he was really coming on to a game with impressive showings in the back-to-back victories over Partick Thistle and Inverness CT before a season-ending injury.
Josh Windass - 6
Has shown glimpses of real ability with his pace and direct running, and Rangers fans are hopeful of more to come as he continues to settle into the team and Scottish football. However, he loses a couple of points for niggling injury problems that have prevented him from building up momentum in the starting XI, not to mention his lack of goals to this point.
Joe Garner - 4
Fans like him because his name lends itself to a catchy song and there’s every possibility he may literally run through a brick wall if asked. But let’s be serious, it’s not been a good signing to this point. Though he may be commended for his work rate and character, these are qualities that can be picked up for a lot cheaper than £1.5million and a decent wage. For that price a striker in the Ladbrokes Premiership should be producing a bit of magic on a weekly basis, especially when you consider the current limitations on Rangers’ finances.
Joe Dodoo - 4
Didn’t cost anywhere near as much as Garner but gets the same score because he’s had even less of an impact. His late double away to Partick Thistle turned a likely defeat into a surprising victory, but that’s been about it. This could have been a 3, but with his pace he’s a decent enough option to have coming off the bench.
David Bates - n/a
Young defender signed on loan who hasn’t played a minute.