Rangers Eastern adventures are proving very fruitful for the Ibrox club.
These are two nationals from a country which just reached the World Cup Final, playing in their home league. They’ll be regulars in that squad very soon. And we’re not done shopping yet.
Up top, we’re crossing the Balkan border into Bosnia and are looking at the best young striking talent the country has to offer.
Granted, we never knew much about Dinamo Zagreb’s Armin Hodzic or FK Krupa’s Elvir Koljic prior to this morning’s press – Football Manager enthusiasts excluded – but there’s real excitement about their potential.
We’ll just need to see how the deals progress, but Hodzic in particular looks a very interesting proposition up front.
By going to these regions Rangers seem to be adding real quality for relative buttons compared to most Western markets.
Ok, so it’s rare to find £2mn+ being spent on a CB here, but Nikola Katic has already proved his quality and continues to impress alongside Connor Goldson. Increasing his value in the process.
Barisic hasn’t played with us, but he’s experienced Ibrox. Not only did he love it, but the highly rated LB stood out as a classy, vocal influence on the opposition team.
Gerrard clearly thought so too.
In these markets you can secure real quality for a fair price.
Rangers, buoyed by Gerrard’s presence and a global reputation, are becoming an interesting option for talented players from the Balkans and beyond. The club really suits their style.
Having a set-up in place where fellow countryman/neighbours are already flourishing must also appeal for players making their “next step in the game”.
Whether these moves come to fruition or not, Rangers have shown a scouting intelligence we’ve been missing in recent years.
We want to do business, not be messed around. In Scotland, the market is tetchy at best and rarely are things done quickly.
In the East, Rangers’ scouting team might just unearth a few Adriatic gems just yet.