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Sir Kenny Dalglish: Big signings before Morelos is sold show Rangers board are backing Gerrard

© Stephen Dobson/ProSports/Shutterstock Smiles all round at Pittodrie as Steven Gerrard congratulates Leon Balogun on his debut
Smiles all round at Pittodrie as Steven Gerrard congratulates Leon Balogun on his debut

When Steven Gerrard became Rangers manager back in June, 2018, he had a big job on his hands.

Change was needed to improve the squad.

Plenty of signings have been made in the past two years, and as lot of money spent to finance them.

Some of the additions have been first-class. A few haven’t worked out.

But when you bring in so many players in such a relatively short period of time, it’s unlikely all of them will be successful.

You will not get every one right, as Steven has found out.

In the past week, however, there has been plenty of excitement and optimism amongst Rangers fans over the arrivals of Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten.

Add in an impressive debut by another new arrival, Leon Balogun at Pittodrie last Saturday, and you can understand the positivity of the Light Blue legions.

To land these players, there has been a significant financial outlay, all geared towards winning the Premiership in what is one of the most-crucial campaigns in the history of Scottish football.

Where Steven plans to play Roofe and Itten remains to be seen. But, for sure, he will have a plan that he wants to put into practice.

It might not be in evidence today against St Mirren, as he and his staff will probably only have had one training session with the full squad due to being in Germany in midweek for the Europa League return against Bayer Leverkusen.

There is also the Alfredo Morelos conundrum.

It looks inevitable he is on his way out of the club, with Lille favourites to sign him for a substantial fee.

I’m not privy to the ins and outs of what’s going on with the Colombian striker and his representatives.

But if reports are to be believed, it does strike me as being a wee bit strange if personal terms have been agreed before the clubs have thrashed out a deal.

The player and his agent might have jumped the gun. Or maybe the Rangers hierarchy have allowed things to operate that way.

But it shows there is backing there for Steven by allowing him to get players in the door before Morelos has been sold.

Like all managers, Steven will be hoping that the new players fit into the system he has in mind and that they hit the ground running.

I like the look of Roofe, and feel he can be a real success. He caught the eye at Oxford United and Leeds United, and there will be a real hunger from him to succeed at Ibrox, and be a part of something special.

Itten is a bit more of an unknown quantity to me, but he has a solid track record.

He has scored goals for St Gallen and represented Switzerland, and he’ll bring different options to the final third of the pitch.

But there does need to be an element of patience shown by Rangers fans.

It might take three or four games before the best way to deploy the new signings is found.

At the back, there appears to be no settling in period required for Balogun.

He was very effective away to Aberdeen last week, and helped the team to a clean sheet. He looks like a real leader.

It could well be that Steven will be trying to fit in four or five new players into his starting line-up in the weeks ahead. That’s a big ask.

In contrast, Celtic may only look to change one position.

There is more of a settled look and a greater understanding about Neil Lennon’s side. That’s only natural when you consider the amount of time they’ve been together.

Last Sunday against Hamilton Accies, Jeremie Frimpong confirmed he’s a good young player, terrific going forward and chipping in with a goal.

On the opposite flank, Greg Taylor looks ready to make a positive impact this season, too.

Odsonne Edouard scored a hat-trick and, in this season of all seasons, Neil won’t want to lose a player of his calibre.

But the young Frenchman is attracting attention and Celtic may well have bids to consider for him.

The transfer window is open until the first week in October, and that’s not something Neil will be happy about.

I’m sure the squads at both Celtic and Rangers will have more changes by then.

Rangers appear to be looking to offload a few of Steven’s previous signings, but you need to be careful not to let too many go.

As well as the usual injuries and suspensions, there will be fatigue to deal with this season.

Both clubs would love to have a lead at the top of the table by the time the first Old Firm game of the season has been played in mid-October.

But if they are neck and neck, there wouldn’t be too many complaints.

We all know what’s at stake, and Rangers can take heart from the fact they beat Celtic the last time the teams met.

However, it’s still a big ask to topple Celtic over the next 37 games.

They had a great result at Aberdeen, and will look to build on that today at home to St Mirren.

Celtic will want to keep going from where they left off, too, but they face a tough trip to Kilmarnock.

They’ve won the last nine titles by going on the road and getting three points.

It’s not always been pretty, but it is more often than not extremely effective and they know how to get the job done.

Neil will settle for that today, that’s for sure.