A Fit And Firing Aaron Ramsey Will Be A Huge Asset To Rangers

Rangers' new signing will be in contention for his debut against Hearts at Ibrox on Sunday
11:55, 02 Feb 2022

When rumours first began to emerge surrounding Aaron Ramsey’s possible move to Ibrox, scepticism was rife amongst the supporters. Even as the story gathered pace, it still seemed an outlandish possibility due to the 31-year-old’s astronomical salary.

Rangers’ Sporting Director, Ross Wilson, was tasked with finding a goalscoring midfielder, a risk-taker prepared to create havoc and break beyond the forwards, and he delivered an audacious signing - the club’s most significant arrival in years. 

An ecstatic Ally McCoist believes the Welshman is Rangers biggest capture since Paul Gascoigne rocked up in Govan with bleached blonde hair in 1995. ‘Gazzamania,’ went into overdrive as the English icon checked-in, and overjoyed supporters congregated again on Monday evening to greet another superstar arrival from Italy.

Rangers and Celtic have been on the fringes over the last couple of decades. The game has become big-league focused and major players are not supposed to be lured to Glasgow anymore. A lack of financial power is primarily why, and the unexpected capture of Ramsey is a throwback to more prosperous times.

The Light Blues have made several statement signings since Gascoigne arrived from Lazio. Ronald de Boer was a significant purchase in 2000 and his twin brother, Frank, later joined for a short spell. Tore Andre Flo was lured north for a club-record £12 million fee nearly 22 years ago. 

Celtic have also made glamour signings over the same period. Craig Bellamy, Juninho, Robbie Keane and Roy Keane have all had brief stints in green and white. 

It is not just the Old Firm that has attracted big names. Dundee made waves when they somehow tempted World Cup runner-up Claudio Caniggia to the club in 2000. The Argentine, who later played for Rangers, is still revered on Tayside - and Fabrizio Ravanelli also had a spell in the City of Discovery during the 2003/4 season.

Hibernian managed to coax Franck Sauzée, a Champions League winner, to Edinburgh in 1999, but headline-grabbing purchases in Scottish football have become fewer with each passing year.

Ramsey ensured Rangers were prominent on a day of frenzied transfer-activity around Europe. It is unusual, but a welcome change, for a player outwith Scotland - and with no connection to either side of the Old Firm - to recognise the merits of playing in Glasgow.

Speaking to the Rangers club website, Ramsey said: “I had a number of offers on the table, but none matched the magnitude of this club - with European football and the chance to play in front of 50,000 fans every other week. 

The Welshman, who will miss the Old Firm derby, will be in contention for his debut against Hearts at Ibrox on Sunday. A capacity crowd will salute his first outing for the champions, and once the fanfare is over, it will be time for business.

Ramsey’s quality is not in doubt, but his durability is. His injury record at Juventus was lengthy and extensive, and his best performances in the last few seasons have been in the red shirt of his beloved Wales.

Ramsey endured a turbulent time in Turin. He was out of favour and disliked by the fans, so the affection he will receive from the Ibrox faithful may provide him with the boost he requires to kick-start his club career.

A fit and firing Ramsey will be an asset to Rangers, and although he will miss Wednesday evening’s huge clash, there are two further opportunities for him to make his mark in Britain’s biggest derby.

The 31-year-old might only be in Glasgow for five months, but he will be forever fondly remembered if he propels his new club to the championship.

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