COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
It has been no secret that Rangers are looking for someone to fill in the director of football role following the departures of Mark Warburton, David Weir and Frank McParland earlier in the month.
One of the most heavily linked has been Southampton scouting chief Ross Wilson and the Daily Mail have reported that the Ibrox giants have even held talks with the 34-year-old.
However, after making the move to the south coast club in March 2015 there are serious doubts as to whether he has actually improved Southampton.
Additionally, the club’s recruitment has been more than questionable since he made the move to Hampshire, one of the main criticisms aimed at McParland and it is felt that Rangers are in danger of appointing a carbon copy of the much criticised former recruitment chief.
With an outside glance it looked like Southampton had improved once again in the last campaign after finishing sixth in the table.
But, in a season where Leicester won the Premier League alongside Liverpool and Chelsea both finishing outside the top seven the top flight was clearly wide open and weaker than usual.
In Wilson’s first summer at the club, Southampton made some very good signings in Oriol Romeu and Virgil van Dijk.
However, there were also a lot of flops and players who were not half as good as the ones they were replacing with Juanmi, Steven Caulker, Cuco Martina and even Cedric Soares and Jordy Clasie.
One year later and the quality of incoming players had seemingly got even worse despite Southampton qualifying for the Europa League group stage.
It starts with the appointment of Claude Puel, replacing Ronald Koeman.
A number of Southampton fans are still undecided regarding the Frenchman, but is fair to say he is a huge downgrade on the now Everton boss given his success on the south coast.
Meanwhile, summer signings Nathan Redmond and Pierre-Emile Hojberg have so far unimpressed, but have been afforded more time due to their ages.
But, Alex McCarthy, Jeremy Pied and Stuart Taylor were three of the six summer additions for the Saints and when 50 per cent of signings have contributed absolutely nothing in their first eight months at the club, it does not read well.
The January window just gone was possibly Wilson’s worst at the club as he failed to identify a worthy replacement for outgoing captain and star Jose Fonte, leaving Southampton with youngster Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida in the back four following Virgil van Dijk’s injury.
They have since signed former Juventus and Barcelona centre-back Martin Caceres, but with the Uruguayan’s last competitive action coming in February 2016 there are still serious doubts over him.
For these reasons alone Rangers must avoid appointing Wilson if they are serious about closing the gap on fierce rivals Celtic.
In other Rangers news, Alex Rae has identified what is wrong with the Gers team.