While many of Pedro Caixinha’s summer signings are starting to prove their worth at Rangers, a vast number of the players he let go are rebuilding their reputations south of the border.
Striking duo Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn started the season in prolific form for overachieving Ipswich Town, Joe Dodoo has found his scoring boots for Charlton Athletic while Barrie McKay’s Nottingham Forest displays make a mockery of the fact Rangers sold him for just £500,000, as reported by the BBC.
And Matt Crooks’ match-winning display for Northampton Town on Saturday merely seasons the wounds. It took just 21 seconds for the midfielder to score the only goal of the game against Doncaster Rovers at Sixfields, ensuring the reign of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink began with a win.
23-year-old Crooks, who moved to Northampton on loan this summer, thrashed home his first goal for the club in his fifth appearance to cap a Man of the Match display. He was energetic, tenacious and dominated the midfield, managing to play 76 minutes despite suffering a seemingly serious head injury in the first-half.
It was the sort of influential display that became Crooks’ trademark during a superb spell on loan at League One rivals Scunthorpe United in the second half of last season. It was the sort of influential display that makes you wonder why Rangers seem hellbent on denying him an opportunity.
Crooks started just one Scottish Premiership game in six months at Ibrox, toiling in an unfamiliar holding midfield role as Mark Warburton’s Rangers went down 2-0 to Hearts in November.
The former Manchester United youngster, a powerful box-to-box midfielder by trade, continues to show Rangers what they are missing. And you just hope Caixinha is taking notice.