Last-gasp masterstroke: Signing Declan John may be Rangers' smartest deal under Caixinha

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - October 1:  Lucas Akins of Burton Albion and Declan John of Cardiff City in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burton Albion and Cardiff City...

Rangers lured Declan John to Ibrox from Cardiff City in August.

Declan John of Cardiff races after the ball with Mohamed Salah during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Chelsea at the Cardiff City Stadium on May 11, 2014 in...

Rangers' summer overhaul saw manager Pedro Caixinha bring in a host of new faces, but it may be one of their final deals that proves to be the smartest.

The Gers handed Caixinha the chance to completely dismantle the Ibrox squad and bring in his own players having arrived as Mark Warburton's replacement in March – and that led to 11 players arriving, and 11 leaving.

Caixinha used his contacts in his native Portugal to land compatriots Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso, Dalcio and Daniel Candeias, whilst the former Santos Laguna boss also went back to Mexico to sign Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera.

Declan John of Cardiff in action  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers at Cardiff City Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Cardiff, Wwales..

The likes of Graham Dorrans, Ryan Jack, Alfredo Morelos and Aaron Nemane also arrived, but one deal which is looking better by the day is the move which saw Cardiff City left back Declan John arrive on loan for the season.

John, 22, had shown potential with Cardiff, but with a complete lack of first-team football under Neil Warnock, he headed to Ibrox – and he looks to be an inspired signing so far.

The left back has impressed for Caixinha, hitting two goals in the recent 4-1 win over Hamilton Academical whilst turning in accomplished displays in the absence of Lee Wallace at left back, but it's the long-term prospects that make this deal so smart for Rangers.

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - October 1:  Lucas Akins of Burton Albion and Declan John of Cardiff City in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burton Albion and Cardiff City...

John's Cardiff contract expires at the end of the season, and Rangers have essentially managed to land John on a try-before-you buy deal, as if he continues to impress, Rangers can agree a pre-contract agreement with the Welshman in January.

Cross-border contract rules mean that Rangers would pay a nominal fee to land John, and landing such a talented young player in a bargain deal even after already impressing at Ibrox and thriving under Caixinha would be incredibly shrewd in a market populated by exorbitant transfer fees.

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