The January transfer window is a week old and Rangers have made their first tentative moves in the market, bringing American international James Sands to Ibrox while Nathan Patterson moves on to Everton in a ‘club-record’ deal.
The window also opens the possibility for some of the loanees away from the club to return – either after their deal ends or the club recall them – with Kai Kennedy, Ben Williamson and Josh McPake all heading back to Ibrox so far.
The Gers have been linked with pre-contract offers for the likes of Hearts defender John Souttar and Vitesse’s Danilho Doekhi, although there’s no pressing need to have either agreed before the January transfer window closes at the end of the month.
While January is never exactly a great month for clubs to buy players, the sale of Patterson could see Rangers splash out a bit in the market and bring in someone for a fee – Bologna winger Andreas Skov Olsen is one name touted.
We’ll update this as the January transfer window continues and more comings and goings are confirmed by Rangers and Gio van Bronckhorst looks to bolster his squad for the second half of the defence of the title.
Here are all of Rangers’ completed transfers in the 2022 January transfer window:
James Sands – NYCFC – 18-month loan
The first signing of the Gio van Bronckhorst era saw James Sands arrive from MLS Cup winners New York City FC on an 18-month loan, with Rangers having an “exclusive” option to make it permanent.
The versatile American comes to Ibrox having just helped NYCFC lift their maiden MLS Cup as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Claudio Reyna, Mo Edu, Carlos Bocanegra, DaMarcus Beasley and Alejandro Bedoya by becoming a key player at Ibrox.
After his move was confirmed, the seven-times capped US international opened up on the “incredible opportunity” signing for Rangers was, telling RangersTV: “I’m very excited to be joining Rangers Football Club.
“It is an incredible opportunity for me to join a club with such a winning history and worldwide fan base.
“Additionally, I’m looking forward to joining an ambitious and talented group of players and coaches. I am certain that Rangers will progress me as both a player and as a person.
“I would also like to thank NYCFC for the role they have played in my development so far. I have and continue to receive amazing support from everyone involved with the club.”
Jermain Defoe – Released
Rangers confirmed veteran striker Jermain Defoe’s exit, three years after initially joining the club on loan from Bournemouth.
Defoe was briefly part of the coaching staff under Steven Gerrard but struggled to force his way into the side this term and leaves with a league winner’s medal and a very respectable 32 goals in 74 appearances for the Gers.
The former England striker made his final appearance for the Gers in the win over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena in November.
Sporting director Ross Wilson was full of praise for the veteran as his departure was confirmed, telling RangersTV: “Jermain has made a significant contribution to Rangers over the last number of seasons.
“Even in the ‘twilight years’ of his career, he has shown the expert movement and finishing ability that took him to the very top in his career. His contribution within the training centre was excellent, as he became a role model for his peers, showing professionalism on a daily basis.
“I was particularly pleased that he leaves with a league championship winning medal. It has been a privilege to have an England international of his quality within our group and we wish him well for the future.”
Nathan Patterson – Everton – Undisclosed
Patterson earned Rangers a club-record fee when he joined the Toffees for a fee reported to reach as much as £16million despite his relatively small number of appearances for the Gers first-team.
The right-back signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Rafa Benitez’s side and admitted it was “an easy choice” to make the move to the Premier League.
“I’m over the moon to sign for Everton and looking forward to getting started,” Patterson told EvertonTV.
“It was an easy choice to sign. This is a massive club with huge history and the fanbase is tremendous. Obviously we aren’t in the place where we want to be right now but we can definitely get there with the talent in the changing room and staff here, and I have full belief we can do that.
Josh McPake – Tranmere Rovers – Loan
McPake joined Mickey Mellon’s side on loan for the rest of the season after starting the campaign with Morecambe. His spell with the Shrimps didn’t go to plan as injuries disrupted his time there but the Scotland youth international is excited to get started on the Wirral, telling Tranmere’s official website: “I’m absolutely delighted to join the club. I’ve met everyone and got to know everyone so far so I’m really excited.
“It’s a massive club and the fan base was a major factor in my decision as well as the promotion push that we’re on. The Club is going in the right direction so it was an easy choice.
“I’m a quick, tricky and direct winger and I just want to create, assist and score goals. I had a few choices but the promotion push is what I want for my career so I don’t think there’s a better place to come.”
Ben Williamson – Raith Rovers – Loan
Williamson returned to Rangers after a loan stint with Livingston before heading out to join Championship side Raith Rovers on loan for the rest of the season on New Year’s Day.
Raith boss John McGlynn was delighted to land the midfielder, telling Raith’s official website that his signing a “major coup” for the Fifers: “I would like to thank Billy Kirkwood and Craig Mulholland of Rangers FC for the part they have played in enabling Ben to join the Rovers until the end of the season.
“It’s a major coup for our club to have a current Scotland Under 21 internationalist in our ranks – Ben is a very committed central midfield player who has great energy, he’s really tenacious, a winner and will add real bite to the midfield.
“With Dylan Tait moving on to Hibs, and with Brad Spencer still a way off match fitness after his injury we felt it was important to add that type of player to the team. Along with Sam Stanton I now believe we have the players in that department of the team to give us the boost we need to keep our promotional push going.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Ben to the Rovers – hopefully the fans will be back in Stark’s Park soon and they can also welcome the new boys to the club.”
Scott Cowie – Falkirk – Emergency Loan
The 16-year-old keeper joined the Bairns on an emergency loan as Covid and injuries take their toll on Martin Rennie’s side. Cowie is likely to be on the bench when Falkirk face Dumbarton on January 8 in League One.
Chris McKee – Linfield – Loan
McKee has found it hard to get game time for Rangers B this sesaon with the likes of Juan Alegria and Tony Weston impressing and the Northern Ireland under-21 international is excited to get started with Linfield.
“I’m delighted to have signed this loan deal with Linfield,” he said [Linfieldfc.com]. “I was here previously when I was younger and this is a great opportunity for me to work with a highly respected and successful manager and a highly talented squad of players.”
“I can’t wait to get started and I want to make a contribution over the coming months to help the club be successful.
“I am well aware of the demands and expectations at this club and all I want to do is challenge for a place within what is certainly a very strong squad.”
The arrival of James Sands could be the catalyst for more players to join the club, as interest heats up in a defender plying his trade in the Eredivisie.