Rangers gifted Ross County all three of their goals in this afternoon’s 3-3 draw in Dingwall as the Gers threw away a valuable two points in the title race – and if the comic cuts defending on show (again) doesn’t spur the Ibrox hierarchy into paying the £500k Hearts want for John Souttar, there needs to be some serious questions asked.

Not for the first time this season, Rangers were the masters of their own downfall as stupid individual errors handed the Staggies three goals that could end up having massive ramifications at both ends of the league table.

Rangers v Hearts -  Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

For Rangers, there’s a £40million Champions League bounty at stake for winning the title and trying to cheap out simply isn’t good enough.

After raking in a reported £16million for Nathan Patterson, bringing in two loan signings and agreeing on a pre-contract while telling fans that the squad is in a better place doesn’t really hold water when there are clear areas of the pitch needing improvement.

The Calvin Bassey experiment at centre-back needs to end for one and while Leon Balogun and Fil Helander are close to fitness, they’ll take a bit of time to get back up to speed, fitness-wise.

There’s no reason to continue shoe-horning someone who isn’t a central defender in at centre-back when we know what Hearts want to let Souttar head across the M8 this month.

Bassey has done well at points but performances like today’s – and not just his fresh-air swipe – show why he is never going to be the long-term answer for Rangers in central defence.

There’s also the matter of Connor Goldson’s contract situation and although the defender made a show of thumping the badge this afternoon after scoring, as long as he continues to put in distinctly average performances while not signing a new contract, there will be serious questions over his commitment.

Even if it helps Souttar settle at Ibrox and get a stronger start to his Ibrox career by getting him in early and letting him gain the experience of playing massive games in a title race, then spending the £500k should be a no-brainer.

Much has been said about the need for Rangers to be become a selling club in the near-future and develop players on to sell them and, while it is very unscientific, playing in the Champions League group stages is going to help add a few more quid when the time comes to sell players on.

There’s no guarantee that signing Souttar before the deadline will guarantee Rangers the title this season, it will certainly offer a better option at centre-back for van Bronckhorst in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Rangers U18s booked their Scottish FA Youth Cup semi spot with a dominant win over Aberdeen

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