Rangers manager Mark Warburton
Rangers manager Mark Warburton has been discussing the recent defeat to Premier League newcomers Burnley at Ibrox with the club's website, and pointed to the fact that some of the players his team were facing were £25 million players.
Framing the 3-1 defeat as an important learning curve for a side who enjoyed nearly everything their own way as they romped to the Scottish Championship title last season, Warburton was rightly eager to use the match to show how much more difficult things will be in the Premiership this season, and should they return to European football in the future.
“They had top quality Premier League players and we have to learn from that," he told rangers.co.uk. "As a team they pressed high and their intensity was evident throughout.
Burnley's Andre Gray in action with Rangers' Niko Kranjcar
“Don’t forget what you’re facing and this isn’t to put ourselves down in any shape or form but in my opinion Andre Gray is a £20-25 million striker, the market would say £15 million but if he moves at all he will move for more.
"You look at Michael Keane and, as Sean Dyche quite rightly said, he is a £25m defender."
Of course transfer values don't necessarily reflect the quality of the player, with the demand for the individual by an interested club distorting it according to how much that club want to keep the player compared to how determined his current club want to retain him.
Michael Keane of Burnley applauds fans
But is clear that the two players Warburton mentioned are hugely talented individuals who his side will have rarely faced in the last couple of seasons. Gray in particular was excellent against the Gers, scoring a hat-trick to help down the home side.
Keane proved himself an integral member of the Burnley side that earned promotion last season, and has reportedly been chased by Premier League champions Leicester City this summer, while Gray shone in his debut campaign at Turf Moor, scoring 23 times to win the Championship Player of the Year award.
Rangers have already played in a number of Scottish League Cup games in July, ahead of finally returning to the Premiership when they take on Hamilton at Ibrox on Saturday.
Warburton will be hoping that his club's tough recent friendly will ensure his side are focused on returning to the top flight with a bang.
Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates winning the Scottish Championship with the trophy