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How is the Rangers squad looking ahead of #GoingFor55

With pre-season underway and Rangers at a training camp in the US, GTBFO takes a look at Rangers' squad ahead of the new season.

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Ahead of the new season, and a return to top-flight football after four years of a "Journey", Mark Warburton has made significant changes to his playing staff but just where about are we in terms of the strength of our squad?

Goalkeepers

The signing of Matt Gilks has brought an added level of competition for Wes Foderingham between the sticks as the former Blackpool keeper looks to immediately take the number one jersey after his move. Foderingham had a good season last term although one or two errors, notably in the game at  Starks' Park in April, have left some fans questioning whether he is good enough for Rangers to mount a challenge for the title. Over the course of last season however Foderingham has shown himself to be a reliable keeper and one who shouldn't cause any major worries next season. Despite Cammy Bell being available for most of last season there was no question over who was number one but the signing of Gilks has now created real competition.

In addition to Foderingham and Gilks, Liam Kelly and Robby McCrorie have earned rave reviews in the youth sides (and in Kelly's case on loan at East Fife) and both will be hopeful of some competitive game time as the Under 20's feature in the Challenge Cup for the first time.

Cammy Bell has left the club after agreeing to terminate his contract a year early.

Defence

Clint Hill and Matt Crooks, who is listed as a defender by the club website despite really being a midfielder, are the new faces so far in a defence which, despite complaints, performed fairly consistently defensively throughout last season and provided a fantastic number of goals and assists at the other end of the park. If James Tavernier and Lee Wallace are to be as vital to our attacking play next season as they were last then there will need to be much more protection  offered by the midfield. The signings of Joey Barton and Jordan Rossiter (more on them later) suggest that this will be the case and the central defenders will have that bit more cover than before when the full-backs attack.

Clint Hill, after a career which has taken in spells at QPR, Stoke, Nottingham Forest & Crystal Palace, will bring a wealth of experience to a defence that showed a certain naïveté last season although the pairing of Wilson and Kiernan will continue to improve as time goes on. Both players have their limitations but, as was shown in the Scottish Cup semi final against Celtic, they can be a match for any attack in Scotland.

Dom Ball has returned to Spurs after his loan deal ended after the Cup final.

Midfield

There's been a few changes in midfield over the summer. Niko Kranjcar, Joey Barton and Jordan Rossiter have all joined the club over the summer and each one will come in immediately looking to be a regular in the starting XI. Barton comes north after, arguably, the most fruitful season of his career. Championship winner with Burnley while picking up several individual awards, if he can continue that level of form into the Scottish Premiership he'll be publicly vindicated in his "not in my league" comments aimed at Celtic captain, and resident children's toy eater, Scott Brown. Kranjcar returns to British football after a short stint in America's second division (NASL) with New York Cosmos. Unquestionably talented, Kranjcar will provide an added attacking dimension to Rangers this season. Despite playing playing a limited number of games over the last 18 months the Croat will prove a fantastic piece of business.

Rossiter moves from Liverpool with a big reputation. Labelled as the next Steven Gerrard by Robbie Fowler, the England U19 captain had a price tag of £12m slapped on him by Liverpool. Rossiter will look to make the position filled by Andy Halliday last season his own. At only 19 he is still far from the finished article but will thrive after leaving the club he had been at since he was 6-years-old.

There have been a few going the other way too. Nicky Law and Dean Shiels have both left the club after their contracts expired and Gedion Zelalem has returned to Arsenal after his loan deal ended.

Jason Holt & Andy Halliday will look to build on their successes of last season as they look to fend off the competition of the new boys. Holt in particular will have a strong argument for a first team place once the competitive games start back up and the former Hearts man was, pound for pound, the best signing in Scottish football last season. Andy Halliday was unlucky to spend a big chunk of last season in an unfamiliar position however he done well and will now have the freedom to play further forward and show his importance to the side. Youngsters like Liam Burt and Jordan Thompson will look to make their mark on the first team this season after hovering around the fringes most of last season.

Forwards

Josh Windass is the only new face in a forward line that has lost Billy King, Nicky Clark and David Templeton over the summer. The ex-Accrington man joined alongside team-mate Matt Crooks on a Bosman. Arsenal were reportedly looking at him last season but never made a move before Rangers snapped the pair up. Windass will face competition from Barrie McKay, Michael O'Halloran, Martyn Waghorn, Kenny Miller and Harry Forrester (as well as the new striker Mark Warburton has been quoted as wanting) for a place in the front three.

McKay and Lee Wallace formed a fantastic partnership down the left last season and it's very unlikely  that will be broken up this summer. The winger's creativity and directness was a massive part of Rangers' success last season and if that can be continued into 2016/17 then defenders should already by worrying about the prospect of facing him.

Waghorn and Kenny Miller were in fantastic goalscoring form last season and although Miller is winding down his career his intelligence on the pitch will still pose problems for opposition defences. Waghorn's physicality and athleticism appeared to come as a surprise to many last season, especially when he was moved out wide, and with the right support Waghorn will create just as many as he will score.

Michael O'Halloran and Harry Forrester both joined in the Winter transfer window but had very differing fortunes. Forrester almost immediately become a fan's favourite before injury cut his season short while O'Halloran struggled to really get going, in part due to being cup-tied following his move and missing a number of games, and couldn't really show what he was capable of. If another centre-forward isn't signed before the season gets under way O'Halloran would likely lead the line.

Ryan Hardie is another who could come into the first team but the young striker may find it more beneficial to go out on loan for regular football.

With well over two months of the transfer window remaining the squad definitely looks in a good place. The new signings will strengthen the squad and add depth that was lacking a little last year. With more new faces on the way a serious title challenge looks to be a real possibility this season.