David Bates’ move to Hamburg certainly came out of the blue.
It was well documented that the highly-rated centre-back was out of contract at Rangers this summer, but few expected Bates to rock up at the bottom-of-the-table Bundesliga outfit before the end of this season.
According to the Scottish Sun, Rangers offered a two-year deal to the 21-year-old but were not willing to meet his £7,000-a-week demands. And Bates, who is currently out with an ankle injury, looks to have played his last game for the Glasgow giants with a four-year contract at Hamburg already agreed.
But there is one man who should see Bates’ exit as an opportunity – Fabio Cardoso.
Rangers signed the Portuguese centre-back from Vitoria Guimaraes last summer for £1.3 million, according to the Daily Record, but he initially struggled to adapt to the pace and power of the British game and, as soon as Bates started to impress, he lost his place.
Cardoso has featured just once since January, and was heavily criticised after coming off the bench to replace the injured Ross McCrorie in Rangers’ 3-2 home defeat to Celtic back in March.
But should the 23-year-old stay at Ibrox this summer, he should take heart from knowing that the man who forced him out of the starting XI will be playing his football in Germany next term.
If would be a little unfair to write off Cardoso this early. After all, better and more reputable players than him have taken their time to adapt to life in England.
Cardoso was linked with a return to Portugal with Estoril in January, but might be handed a chance to salvage his Rangers career after all.