Glasgow Rangers pair Steven Gerrard and Mark Allen both know that their first team requires the right balance, with financial restraints in place when it comes to the transfer market.
After the Gers were thrown out of the top tier down to the Scottish Third Division, the Ibrox club have struggled badly to earn big money.
Rangers tried Ally McCoist, Mark Warburton, Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty as managers before Gerrard arrived – he has done a good job with a limited budget.
Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield, Jermain Defoe, Steve Davis, Matt Polster, Jon Flanagan, Gareth McAuley, Joe Worrall and Lassana Coulibaly all moved to Glasgow on free transfers or on loan deals.
Other Rangers masterstrokes were signing 23-year-old midfield maestro Glen Kamara for £50,000 and winger Ryan Kent on loan from Liverpool.
Andy Firth joined Rangers from Barrow on an-18-month-undisclosed deal, as back up to McGregor and Wes Fotheringham.
Before Gerrard came to Ibrox, the club signed Ryan Jack for free, and he has matured into one of the best players in Rangers first team.
Rangers supporter Andy Halliday, who is a versatile squad player, was kept on at Ibrox by Gerrard. He was signed on a free transfer from Bradford in 2015.
Alfredo Morelos signed on for three-years with Rangers from HJK Helsinki on 19 June 2017 for around £800,000, and has blossomed into the Ibrox club’s most-prized possession.
Morelos was discovered and recommended by ex-Rangers player and coach Jonatan Johansson from Finland.
Captain James Tavernier joined Rangers from Wigan in July 2015 for a bargain transfer fee of £200,000, on a three-year-deal, which was later extended.
On 11 June 2017, Portuguese right winger Daniel Candeias joined Rangers on a two-year deal for a reported transfer fee of between £500,000 and £700,000.
In July 2017, Graham Dorrans moved from Norwich to Rangers on a three-year deal estimated at £1 million. He unfortunately was injured on October 25 and has missed all season since.
In January 2018, winger Jamie Murphy joined Rangers from Brighton on loan until the end of the 2017–18 campaign. In May 2018, Murphy signed for three years for about £750,000.
He suffered cruciate ligament trouble in August on Kilmarnock’s drastic plastic pitch, then missed all season. The Rangers wideman became a huge fans favourite with consistently brilliant displays.
Ross McCrorie and Glenn Middleton were both promoted by Gerrard from the academy to become regular first-team players.
Englishman Connor Goldson, a centre-back from Brighton for £3 million, and Croatian Nikola Katic from Slaven Belupo, for £1.5 million, were brought in soon after Gerrard arrived.
Left-back Borna Barisic from Osijek – £1.5 million and also versatile winger/midfielder Albanian Eros Gredza for another £1.5 million, were soon added to Gerrard’s squad.
On 22 August 2018, Kyle Lafferty joined Gerrard’s Rangers squad for a second spell on a two-year deal. It has been disappointing for the player and club, so far.
Adding to the new attacking depth on both wings could often be the difference between drawing or winning certain exceptionally close ties.
Having players who could make a high impact coming on from the bench is vital for Gerrard, who is confident the new widemen can change the result.
The Rangers boss is hoping Jake Hastie and Jordan Jones will become regular starters with time and further development of their real potential. They are both on long-term contracts.
“I think when you get a job the size of this you obviously want to make the team strong and as successful as quick as you can,” Gerrard said of Hastie and Jones, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“But you’ve also got to look for the deals out there that are going to help your squad be stronger and also maybe players that are going to help the club for many, many years.
“When those players become available you’ve got to strike and I think Jordan Jones and Jake (Hastie) give us more options in the final third.
“They give us pace, they give us power, they can both create and score.
“I think at important times in the season when I’ve looked to change options or bring people off the bench I think we’ve lacked a little bit of quality in the final third.
“That’s the idea and reason behind it. Two players with big potential so hopefully they’ll come here and fulfill it.”