Ibrox coach Michael Beale hilariously compares recruitment of Barker, Kent, Aribo to Van Dijk & Dembele

By John McGinley

April 26, 2020

Rangers coach Michael Beale has claimed that the Ibrox side giving opportunities to Brandon Barker, Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo is similar to the Celtic recruitment of Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, in an interview with Goal.

Celtic’s buy and sell cycle over the last decade has been enormously successful.

We’ve managed to bring in young talent, develop their skills and instil a winning mentality into them before letting them move on to a higher level, all while ensuring that the club makes a big profit on their sale.

Virgil van Dijk arrived from the Netherlands and left for Southampton before becoming a Champions League winner with Liverpool, while Dembele has had a tremendous couple of seasons at Lyon after making a close to £20m switch in 2018.

For some reason, Beale thinks this compares to the Ibrox recruitment of players last summer when they landed Aribo from English League One, former Hibernian man Barker and paid over the odds for Kent from Liverpool.

As quoted by Goal, he said: “I think financially we have to be very open with our recruitment. We don’t get anywhere near what even the Championship teams get. We have a lot of top Under-23s players, Brandon Barker, Ryan Kent, Joe Aribo.

“These are players that were either struggling for a breakthrough or needed a career before a career. It is very much the same at the other big club Celtic, Moussa Dembele came in from Fulham before moving on. Victor Wanyama and Virgil Van Dijk did the same. Odsonne Edouard is a very good player also.”

Former Celtic star Moussa Dembele celebrates a Lyon goal / (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP) (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangers have just endured another trophyless season after being outclassed on the pitch by Neil Lennon’s Celtic.

Barker made just four starts for Steven Gerrard’s side this season while Kent managed just eight goals before the suspension of football in March.

Although the model may look similar at a glance, it’s a different level of recruitment entirely compared to what the Hoops have managed in recent years.

Our rivals will have to do better than Brandon Barker if they hope to follow in the footsteps of the Celtic transfer cycle that has catapulted us to nine-in-a-row.

However, if the Ibrox coaching staff are happy with their ‘top’ U23 players while languishing behind the Bhoys, that suits us!