Rangers were urged to sign Ryan Porteous before the Scotland international ended up making a move to England with Watford.

We were expecting to see more business from Rangers over the summer in terms of defensive improvements.

There were big rumours surrounding the likes of Auston Trusty and Jonathan Panzo, but they amounted to nothing in the end.

The only centre back Rangers brought in this summer was Leon Balogun as Michael Beale brought the Nigerian back to Ibrox.

That was a surprise move and not exactly the level of reinforcement Rangers fans were expecting.

Balogun brings experienced cover at the back but doesn’t really improve the starting XI, leaving Rangers’ back line looking pretty much the same as it did at the end of last season.

Rangers were told to sign Ryan Porteous

Rangers have looked away from the Scottish market in recent times with very few players heading from domestic rivals to Ibrox.

Maybe that’s something Rangers need to reassess; the likes of Lewis Ferguson, Aaron Hickey, Scott McKenna and Ross Stewart have excelled elsewhere, for example.

Then there is Ryan Porteous, who had impressed for Hibernian and was on the move in January.

Viewed as a no-nonsense defender, Porteous still has untapped potential at 24 but he is another to have slipped through the Rangers net.

Watford swooped for Porteous in January and Kevin Thomson now claims to have told Rangers to make a move.

Thomson – a former Hibs man who ended up at Rangers as a player – has coached in the Gers youth setup.

Thomson told Sportsound this weekend – as quoted by the Daily Record – that he directly told Beale to bring Porteous to Rangers.

The former Scotland midfielder thinks that the £450,000 Watford paid for Porteous was a ‘steal’ and that he will be attracting interest very soon.

“£450k for Ryan Porteous, Watford must be rubbing their hands, it’s a steal. I actually told Mick Beale to sign him when I was at Rangers, when I coached in the academy.”

“I am not being disrespectful to Watford but someone is going to test their resolve pretty quickly I would imagine with Ryan’s performances,” he added.

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Defensive rebuild surely coming in 2024

The ship may have sailed on Porteous to Rangers now but defensive changes are surely coming to Ibrox soon.

Ben Davies is likely to be moving on whilst John Souttar hasn’t exactly proven himself as a nailed-on first pick in the opening weeks of the season.

Balogun only has a one-year deal and Rangers will need to identify multiple defenders to breathe some new life into the back line.

Rangers have been going into big games with James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic for years now – arguably far too long in the eyes of some.

Rangers need players who can improve that back line moving forward, not just squad players like Balogun and Dujon Sterling.

Whether Beale is in charge of that defensive rebuild is anybody’s guess, but the target identification needs to start soon ahead of January and next summer.

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