Following the news that former Manchester United and Newcastle defender Danny Simpson had signed for the Rs on a free transfer, one question kept popping into my head – Why?
At just 26, and with undeniable talent, Simpson could surely have had his pick from half the clubs in the Premier League. And yet he chose to spend at least one year in the Championship, possibly more if it continues to be as unpredictable and difficult to navigate as it has been in recent times.
It is easy to see the move as a backwards step. Easy…but quite probably wrong. Because while Harry Redknapp’s side are in an undeniable transition, you sense the former Tottenham manager has the desire to rebuild something that – last season at least – looked irreparable.
Redknapp may have failed to live up to his Houdini act. But the simple fact is not even the real Houdini could have saved the Hoops from relegation? Now is about planning for the future, and the acquisition of Simpson is a great start.
Speaking about the move, the right-back said, “From what I have heard they are very determined to put things behind them and start afresh and get back into the Premier League where the club belongs.”
That sense of moving on is what suggests Simpson has made the right move.
Redknapp has been around long enough to know that one bad season can be written off if the next one is successful. And he appears just as focused as he has ever been on ensuring that is the case.
Perhaps Simpson could have moved to a top flight club. Arguably at the peak of his career no one would have been surprised.
That he did surprise us and chose the Championship side says more about the club’s future than its past. As much as money always plays its part, Simpson has committed himself to a project with plenty of work still to be done.
That he has faith in it should give fans hope.
Now if only more players can be sold on the promise of a future far brighter than its sombre prologue.
Are Hoops fans pleased with the signing of Simpson? And who else needs to be brought in for next season?
image: © p_a_h