As teams start making moves in the transfer market, we take a look at who was the best, permanent, January window signing since it’s introduction in 2002/03.
Ferguson returned to Rangers in the final minutes of the 2005 January transfer window for a reported £4.5m from Blackburn Rovers and made his re-debut in a 7-1 thumping of Dundee United in the CIS Cup semi final at Hampden. He regained the captaincy that summer and it was like he’d never been away; Ferguson would go on to make 191 appearances in his second stint at Ibrox to add to the 240 he made before trying his luck down south. After making the move back to his boyhood heroes, Ferguson would lift two league titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups as well as captaining Rangers in their first European final since 1972. Ferguson would leave Rangers in 2009 after being stripped of the captaincy following what became known as ‘Boozegate’ but not before earning a place in the club’s Hall of Fame.
Record SPL/SPFL goalscorer Boyd moved to Ibrox in January 2006 for £400k from Kilmarnock, where he made his debut the same day Ally McCoist finished his career, and immediately started banging goals in. A debut hat-trick against Peterhead in the Scottish Cup immediately won favour with fans and he never really stopped scoring. 128 goals in 192 appearances in his first spell at the club was a phenomenal record and, although Boyd would often be left out of bigger games, he would almost guarantee a goal against most sides. Boyd, like Ferguson, won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups before joining Middlesbrough in 2010.
When Walter Smith replaced Paul Le Guen a decade ago he immediately moved for Thomson to replace Frenchman Jeremy Clement and got his man for £2m. The combative midfielder initially struggled with injury but quickly made himself a vital part of the team once fit and playing a key role as Smith led his team to a UEFA CUp final. The following season Thomson sustained a horrific knee injury but fought back to fitness to lift a league and League Cup doube in 2009/10. THomson would go on to join Boyd at ‘Boro after making 109 appearances and winning two titles, a Scottish Cup and two League Cups.
Like Thomson, Weir joined Rangers in the immediate aftermath of Walter Smith’s return to the club and would go on to be one of the best signings Smith would make over either of his two spells as manager. When Weir was announced as a Rangers player in January 2007 most fans were not happy with the signing whatsover and felt that at 37, Weir would offer very little. How wrong were we? Playing on until well beyond his 40th birthday, Weir would replace Ferguson as club captain in a trophy-laden four-and-a-half year spell as Ibrox. Three league titles, three League Cups and two Scottish Cups over 231 appearances played a massive part in earning Weir a place in the club’s Hall of Fame.
Now, there were other January signings which we’ll list below but the four we’ve named above are our stand-out candidates. Who do you think is the best January signing Rangers have made?
All permanent winter transfer window signings since 2002/03:
2002/03 - Steven Thompson, Dan Eggen, Jerome Bonnisel
2003/04 - Gavin Rae, Frank de Boer, Bajram Fetai
2004/05 - Bojan Djordic, Thomas Buffel, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jukko Santala, Ronald Wattereus, Barry Ferguson
2005/06 - Kris Boyd, Moses Ashikodi
2006/07 - Davie Weir, Andy Webster, Ugo Ehiogu, Adda Djeziri, Kevin Thomson
2007/08 - Neil Alexander, Christian Dailly
2008/09 - None
2009/10 - None
2010/11 - David Healy
2011/12 - Mervan Celik
2012/13 - None
2013/14 - None
2014/15 - None
2015/16 - Harry Forrester, Maciej Gostomski, Michael O’Halloran