There's been a debate following the signing of Josh Windass and Matt Crooks playing out in the media since they signed that has been pretty typical for anything involving Rangers. We didn't spend enough, we fleeced poor little Accrington Stanley, we're buying League Two players, Scottish football is dead, where's the money Mr. King? and pretty much every tired old opinion of this season have been dragged out.
Instead, it might be nice to ask how good they are from someone who's actually watched them play, so we did exactly that, speaking to Ryan Taylor of Stanley World about the pair.
Battle Fever: Firstly, Josh Windass. Rangers haven't exactly had trouble scoring or creating goals this season, but there's a spot in attacking midfield, the right wing, and potentially up front in out 4-3-3 available for new arrivals. Where has Windass usually been deployed for Stanley, and what do you see as his best position and where he might be able to fit in?
Ryan Taylor: I could see Josh Windass could play anywhere across the attacking midfield line, but if I had to pick a preferred position for him to shine in it would be as a number ten behind the striker. He has fantastic technical ability and a real eye for goal which I could see suiting Rangers style of play under Warburton.
BF: Matt Crooks plays in a position we've been quite desperate to fill, as the team's been lacking a proper defensive midfielder. At the moment the job's being done by Andy Halliday - a converted winger - and against better teams our defence has been quite badly exposed. Crooks seems to have an alarmingly high number of goals for a supposed defensive midfielder - is he more of a box-to-box type, or will he be able to do the job of protecting a defence?
RT: Matt Crooks is a player that John Coleman has said could be a million pound player in the future and it's not hard to see why. He is capable of being solid in defence whilst getting forward and scoring goals, so I would say he is a box to box midfielder, who has been compared to Yaya Toure by former team mate and Rangers player Kal Naismith.
BF: There's been some consternation from the majority shareholder, Andy Holt, at the way the deal was conducted. The ire is obviously mostly at the rules and to some extent Rangers rather than the players, but have there ever been any worries about the attitude of the two towards the club?
RT: Andy Holt is obviously disappointed as he feels that he is not getting the amount that Accrington feel the players are worth, and that having this move will cause the players to have a lack of communication. However I feel both players, if they stay till the end of the season, will try their hardest to help Stanley possibly gain promotion. This could also benefit their future as if they play well that could help them push into the Rangers team.
BF: Were you surprised when the two were linked to big clubs? The talk of Arsenal chasing Windass seems far-fetched, but by the sounds of it there were a huge number of Championship clubs interested.
RT: I was surprised as anyone when I saw the Josh Windass to Arsenal link, as I feel that he could be premier league quality but he wouldn’t have had any game time at the Emirates. In my opinion I would not have been surprised if they would have moved to a Championship club in England as at this age they are of that quality and they will only get better. I feel they will thrive in Scotland.
BF: There was talk that Rangers would offer £400k to complete a deal for the pair this window. Would you take the money, or keep them for your promotion push?
RT: The opinion amongst fans is split, the squad would lose its two arguably better players but the money could help strengthen the squad. If it was up to me for a club like Accrington £400k is a lot of money to turn down for 2 players who have already agreed to move, but I would keep them as with the games in hand there is a massive chance of promotion for Accrington and they need their better players.
BF: Thanks Ryan, and all the best.
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