Are Rangers paying the price for losing Ben Heneghan to Sheffield United?

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha gestures during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hibernian at Ibrox Stadium on August 12, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers wanted Ben Heneghan from Motherwell - but he signed for Sheffiled United instead.

Fabio Cardoso of Rangers gestures during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

When Pedro Caixinha bought in the Portuguese pair of Bruno Alves and Fabio Cardoso during the summer transfer window, Rangers fans would have been hoping for a stop to the shaky defensive performances that undermined their return to the Scottish top flight in 2016.

That hasn’t quite worked out so far, however, with Rangers conceding six more goals than Celtic and five more than Aberdeen already. Veteran Euro 2016 winner Alves hasn’t quite rolled back the years just yet at Ibrox while Cardoso has struggled with the pace and power of the Scottish top flight.

Wes Foderingham of Rangers talks with Fabio Cardoso of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox Stadium on September 23, 2017 in...

Rangers’ inability to bring talented 24-year-old Ben Heneghan to Ibrox, then, could be seen as something of a blunder. The Daily Record reported that Rangers had identified the then-Motherwell talent as a target over the summer but he moved to Sheffield United instead on deadline day.

Considering that his contract was due to expire in the summer of 2018, The Blades were able to land Heneghan on a cut-price fee. Which, in comparison to Rangers paying £1.3 million for Cardoso (Daily Record), looks a real bargain although he has only featured for the under-23 side so far.

Ben Heneghan of Motherwell in action during the pre season friendly between Livingston and Motherwell at Almondvale Stadium on July 4, 2017 in Livingston, Scotland.

Meanwhile, former Benfica B centre-back Cardoso struggled to deal with Conor Salmon against Partick Thistle and was brutally exposed by Rakesh Bingham in the 4-1 victory over Hamilton prior to the international break.

At just 23, Cardoso has plenty of time to improve but his shaky displays perhaps suggest that Rangers would have been better off signing a defender who already had experience of Scottish football under his belt.

Someone like Heneghan.

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