Glasgow Rangers front man Martyn Waghorn has completed a move to English Championship outfit Ipswich Town, ending a two-season stay at Ibrox as Rangers chief Pedro Caixinha continues his shake-up among playing staff since his arrival at the beginning of the year. He, of course, brings with him a list of impressive stats.
Waghorn played an integral role in the Rangers’ march back into the SPL, notching an impressive 27 league goals in 57 appearances. The former Sunderland, Leicester, and Wigan forward averaged almost a goal a game in the Scottish Championship and also enjoyed a successful campaign in the 2016-17 SPL, scoring 16 league and cup goals last term.
The 27-year-old follows fellow Gers front man Joe Garner down to Suffolk, with the pair likely to be used to attack Mick McCarthy’s team. With just a year remaining on his contract at Ibrox, Waghorn has seemingly jumped at the opportunity to start again in English football, securing a two-year contract with the option of an additional 12 months.
It is reported that the fee for Waghorn is approaching £1 million, although Caixinha is keen to use the funds to entice Aberdeen wide man Kenny McLean and Hearts ace Jamie Walker in a bid to freshen up the attacking and creative options for the coming season.
The 2017-18 campaign certainly hasn’t started off with a bang for the Portuguese chief, given that Gers were dumped unceremoniously out of the Europa League qualifiers by Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn, who finished fifth in the top Luxembourg league the last term.
However, an opening day SPL victory at Motherwell has helped appease some of the Gers faithful due to summer signing of longtime Gers fan Graeme Dorrans, putting in a man-of-the-match display at Fir Park, and scoring both goals in their 2-1 win.
The opening day contest also brought out the best in wide man Josh Windass, with the former Accrington Stanley ace twice hitting the woodwork and tying up the well in knots for much of the game. Nevertheless, it’s still unsure whether Caixinha sees him as part of his long-term plans given his critical post-match comments about the 23-year-old’s lack of defensive awareness.
“Josh is a player who needs to have more confidence — and they all have that — but he needs to learn with the process,” said Caixinha. “It is not only about the bright things. You have to be switched on all the time.”
Windass was brought to Ibrox by former boss Mark Warburton and may be viewed as another face that doesn’t fit under Caixinha’s new regime. Scottish international Steven Naismith has been linked with a return to Ibrox from Norwich City this month, but this could be lazy journalism, with Caixinha far more likely to pull out a left field signing from overseas than sign old favorites.
Caixinha’s men have tougher tests to come in the coming weeks with Neil Lennon’s Hibernian on the horizon fresh from their own 3-1 opening day victory. Hibs have made good progress under the former Celtic boss and are highly unlikely to drop back into the Championship next season. With odds of 7/2 on BetStars, Hibs looks like the one to upset the Ibrox faithful, especially given some of the inconsistent performances from Caixinha’s men so far this summer.