CHEAP and tearful – Rangers’ Europa Cup final XI was one of the bargain teams of the season.
Winger Ryan Kent’s £6.1million fee made up more than HALF the total £11.5m cost of Gers’ nearly men – with FIVE free transfers.
Ryan Kent, who here threatened to win the final for Rangers in extra time, cost more than the rest of the team combinedCredit: Getty
Keeper Allan McGregor, 40, is in his second spell at Rangers and came so close to winning his biggest honourCredit: Getty
Rangers’ most feted player, Aaron Ramsey, missed the decisive spot-kick in an agonising 5-4 shootout loss to Eintracht Frankfurt following a 1-1 draw.
But the Wales midfielder, on loan from Juventus, was just a late sub, as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s bargain battlers matched the Germans.
Apart from ex-Liverpool winger Kent, Rangers paid seven-figure sums for just two of their starters.
Central defender Connor Goldsun cost £2.9m from Brighton.
And Croatia left-back Borna Barisic was a £2.1m arrival from Osijek.
Both 29, they each moved to Ibrox four years ago amid previous manager Steven Gerrard’s surge to Scottish Premiership glory.
But it was one of the fearless, fee-less recruits who perhaps impressed the pundits most last night.
Leicester academy product Calvin Bassey dazzled so brightly at the back that Scotland legend Ally McCoist reckons he’s good enough for ANYONE.
Ex-Rangers legend McCoist told talkSPORT: “What a performance.
“He was absolutely frightening – he’s walking in anywhere on that performance.”
Keeper Allan McGregor, 40 typified the Gers’ hunger to win their first European silverware since landing the European Cup Winners’ Cup 50 years ago.
He returned to Ibrox from Hull on a free in 2018 after enjoying arguably his peak years with Rangers from 2001-2012.
Gers’ other free-transfer starters were all in midfield.
Ex-Charlton starlet Joe Aribo arrived three years ago, Scot Ryan Jack came from Aberdeen in 2017 and Liverpudlian John Lundstram joined from Sheffield United last summer.
It means the middle was a real cut-price zone for Rangers.
That’s because the fourth member of their central quartet, Finland’s Glen Kamara, cost only £47,000 from Dundee.
Right-back James Tavernier has been one of Rangers’ top performers in the past six years.
And they ‘stole’ him from Wigan for £212,00.
You can’t put a price on such skilled bargain-hunting.
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