Rangers have had an incredible start to the 2015 / 16 Championship, scoring over 50 goals by the end of December. There's no question that Mark Warburton has created a heavy attack focus within his somewhat threadbare squad. While Martyn Waghorn has dominated the scoring charts, many fans have been concerned what would happen if the former Wigan player was to suffer a serious injury. Particularly when many are still in the mindset of, "We need an out-and-out striker." With this in mind, Rangers were unsurprisingly attack-minded during the Winter transfer window. Not only bringing in forwards for the title run-in, but also one eye looking ahead to next season's likely Premiership campaign.
The former Doncaster player joined Rangers on a 6 month deal on 2nd January 2016. As with the majority of signings that Warburton has brought in, fans didn't know too much about the winger. However, the manager had previously worked with the 25 year old while at Brentford, where he spent two seasons. His career has been somewhat plagued by both injuries and rumours of attitude problems. What is clear from his performances so far, is that he hasn't played much football over the past few months. With this in mind, it's hard to really judge how much he'll contribute this season. He's definitely still lacking that match sharpness, which could be the difference in him finishing off a couple of the chances he's thus far squandered. But the signs are promising that he'll be able to earn an extension.
Our first instinct with Maciej was that this was a classic "Ally" signing. Were we really crying out for another goalkeeper, particularly when Cammy Bell was so close to full fitness? This is probably the weirdest signing since Warburton took charge, and it seems unlikely he'll remain past his 6 month contract. On the assumption Bell will be leaving in the summer, it's hard to imagine that another keeper won't be brought in on a longer term contract. Also, his pineapple story doesn't compare to Broadfoot's poached egg; so what's the point?
Josh Windass and Matt Crooks
The double signing of Accrington Stanley's Josh Windass and Matt Crooks, on pre-contracts, was a nice teaser for next season, though most fans were hoping the pair would be moving up to Glasgow sooner rather than later. It wasn't to be however, with the boys staying down the road for the next few months. Windass comes with a promising reputation, allegedly scouted by Arsenal, and is another multi-talented forward, scoring more than 10 goals so far this season. Crooks is also able to play in a number of positions, and will hopefully add a bit of steel to the defensive midfield position which Andy Halliday is currently occupying. Fans will be looking forward to not only a more experienced DM there, but also the prospect of Halliday playing further forward.
Another strange signing, with the young Hearts winger (another winger?!) coming in on loan till the end of the season. King got off to a great start, scoring a last minute headed winner against Falkirk on his debut. If I recall correctly, the fans were loudly singing his praises until the final whistle. However, it's an odd signing as there has been no public mention of a long time contract come the end of the season. Robbie Neilson has said the player if currently on the fringes and needs game time, but his statistics for last season show he was one of the top players in the Championship. While it's hard to see him becoming a regular starter, he will at least add some healthy competition, even if it remains to be seen whether Warburton has any intention of signing him beyond this season.
After the excitement of that huge summer transfer "saga", (Alan somebody..?), it felt great to have an entire month of press talk regarding a potential move, or lack of, for the St. Johnstone winger (winger no. 4 - Warbs loves a winger. Can I stress the word winger again?). Finally on deadline day the 25 year old signed. He's a hard character to judge, with many claiming the £500,000 transfer fee a steal, while others remaining unimpressed based on his goals and assists so far this season. It seems likely the pacey forward will be able to create and finish a lot more chances within Warburton's team than at his previous club. Plus, like a lot of the signings, he can play anywhere across the front three. Only time will tell, but this could be one of the most important signings the Club has made in a number of years.
For the first time all season Rangers now look to have plenty of options for the three forward positions, and the majority of these players will be pushing for starting positions. These signings could also lead to Barrie McKay, one of many players to have a fantastic season so far, playing a bit more centrally behind Waghorn. Based on his short time in this role recently, this could be a fantastic bit of foresight from the management team. While it remains to be seen how much game time each new signing will get, at least there is finally a bit of competition beyond Nicky Clark (no disrespect). Now, let's have a wee look at that defence...