Fabio Cardoso was one of a host of players signed by Pedro Caixinha, who didn’t make the grade at Ibrox.

The Portuguese arrived at Rangers from Vitoria Setubal for around £1.3 million in July 2017.

He signed a three-year deal, but after one season at the club, he was released from his contract.

The centre-back made 18 appearances for the Gers. He was inconsistent at the back and barely featured after Caixinha’s sacking in late October.

Cardoso featured in two Old Firm defeats. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Fortunately for the 24-year-old, he was able to secure a free transfer in the summer. He joined C.D Santa Clara, who had just gained promotion to the Primeira Liga, in Cardoso’s native Portugal.

Since then, things have improved.

Despite being newcomers to the league, the side are overachieving and currently sit comfortably in mid-table.

 

What’s more, Cardoso has already almost surpassed his total appearances from last season.

The big defender is clearly enjoying his football again.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

He has turned out 15 times in the league, contributing to just three clean sheets, but chipping in with three vitally important goals.

An act he never once managed in a Rangers shirt.

Two in two early in the season, secured points against Braga and Portimonense. More recently, he netted in a 2-0 away victory at his old club Vitoria.

All in all, a much more successful time of it.

Cardoso didn’t quite stand up to the pressure of playing for a club the size of Rangers.

Yet, this season, he has taken big steps to getting his career back on track.

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