Rangers shouldn’t repeat the same mistake that led to the loss of £15m machine

Rangers shouldn’t repeat the same mistake that led to the loss of £15m machine

Rangers shouldn’t repeat the same mistake that led to the loss of £15m machine

Glasgow Rangers’ January transfer activity consisted of three loan signings, one of which had an obligation to buy provision,

and it is apparent that Philippe Clement intends to invest money on new arrivals during the summer window.

His budget may be dictated by how many players the 49-year-old coach can let go,

and with six players out of contract at the end of the season, a significant amount of the wage budget could be freed up.

Unfortunately, this is how the club must operate in this day and age,

and it has resulted in the Light Blues missing out on more than their fair share of transfer targets.

Rangers could have acquired Ivan Toney, Joey Veerman, and Luis Palma in recent years if they had been more flexible with their spending,

and all three have found success elsewhere, particularly Toney.

This hasn’t simply happened since the club regained top tier status;

managers like the late Walter Smith and Dick Advocaat have also missed out on the odd superstar who could have considerably improved the Ibrox side.

Back at the turn of the century, the Dutchman was interested in recruiting a young compatriot, but he lost out to Manchester United.

Rangers were close to signing Rudd van Nistelrooy.

Following their second consecutive title win in the 1999/00 season,

Advocaat intended to strengthen his team so that they might advance in Europe, which they had not done under the Dutchman’s reign thus far.

The Gers were interested in bringing Ruud van Nistelrooy to Glasgow that summer,

but Advocaat later confessed that the club’s £15 million bid to woo him away from PSV Eindhoven,

where he had established as one of the continent’s best young strikers, was unsuccessful.


“We could have brought van Nistelrooy into Ibrox so I called his agent because he comes from the same town in Holland where I was brought up,

” Advocaat told the BBC. “But he told me that there’s no way Ruud will come to Scotland.”

Instead, the striker elected to join Manchester United in the summer of 2001 for about £19 million,

despite the fact that he had been unable to join the previous year due to injury.

Rangers were looking for a player who could develop into a world-class centre-forward,

but instead spent £12 million to bring Tore Andre Flo to Glasgow from Chelsea in November 2000.

What would have happened if the Light Blues had persuaded Van Nistelrooy that Ibrox was the place to be 24 years ago? Instead,

he excelled in the Premier League with the Red Devils before joining Real Madrid.

Ruud van Nistelrooy would thrive at Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson had led Manchester United to three consecutive league victories,

and the purchase of Van Nistelrooy in 2001 appeared to be the final piece of the puzzle as he aimed to become England’s first manager to win four consecutive trophies.

Arsenal won the double that season, but the Dutchman’s goals meant they won the Premier League in 2002/03, and the former PSV striker scored an incredible 80 goals in his first two seasons in Manchester.

He led United to the FA Cup in 2004, scoring another 30 goals for the club, but it would be the last time the fans would see him at his peak, as injuries began to take their toll on the forward.

Van Nistelrooy scored 16 and 24 goals in his final two seasons with United, but he only won the League Cup before leaving to join Real Madrid at the end of the season.

During his heyday, the Dutchman was one of the most lethal centre-forwards in the world and former teammate Rio Ferdinand lauded him, saying: “Van Nistelrooy was the most devastating finisher I have ever played with. We could win a game by three or four goals but, if he hadn’t scored, he would sulk.”

Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s career statistics Games Goals
Man United 219 150
Real Madrid 96 64
PSV Eindhoven 90 77
Hamburg 44 17
Heerenveen 39 16
Malaga 32 5
Den Bosch 4 2
Via Transfermarkt

High praise indeed, as the midfielder won two La Liga titles with Madrid before retiring to Malaga in 2012.

Imagine how successful Rangers may have been if the former Manchester United striker had signed for them instead.

Rangers struggled without Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

After missing out on his compatriot, Advocaat oversaw a disastrous season in which the Gers finished second to Celtic, who were revitalized under new manager Martin O’Neil, completing the domestic triple in his first season in charge.

While Advocaat’s replacement, Alex McLeish, won two cups, the Light Blues suffered once more in the league.

Alex McLeish

There is no doubt that if they had been able to rely on Van Nistelrooy’s goals on a regular basis, they would have pushed Celtic far harder, since Flo was just not worth the £12 million Rangers paid for him.

During his time at the club, the former Chelsea forward scored 36 goals in 79 games, and while his uncomfortable character in the opposition box served him well, he never truly connected with the fans.

Van Nistelrooy, on the other hand, went on to demonstrate his talents in perhaps the strongest league in Europe, while also flourishing in the Champions League, and missing out on him must have been a major what if moment for the Gers.

This is just speculation, of course. He may have arrived in Scotland but failed to settle. At a period when money seemed to be no object, the Ibrox side made a number of poor decisions, one of which was failing to recruit the Dutchman.

While Clement will be unable to attract players of his caliber, he will be hoping that the board will strongly support him and that he signs players who will not only help the squad but also produce big profit in the long term.

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