Pedro Caixinha enjoyed a short spell as Rangers manager in 2017 in which the Portuguese signed a total 11 players from Alfredo Morelos to Carlos Pena, so where are they all now?
Well, Morelos is one of just two stars still plying their trade at Ibrox five years after arriving in Glasgow. The Colombian joined the Premiership side from HJK Helsinki in June 2017 for what was a bargain £1m, with Dave King even valuing Morelos at £40m in November 2019.
The striker has been a talismanic presence for the Gers since making the move to Scotland under Caixinha. Morelos boasts 113 goals over 224 appearances in all competitions, while laying on 51 assists. He is also Rangers’ all-time top European goalscorer with 29 in 57 ties.
Ryan Jack is the other Rangers player Caixinha signed during his seven months at the helm still at Ibrox. The Gers fired the Portuguese in October 2017 as a draw with Kilmarnock left them fourth in the Premiership, and had lost to Motherwell in the League Cup semi-finals.
Rangers backed Caixinha in his only transfer market in charge with 11 permanent and loan deals. He arrived in Glasgow that March to replace Mark Warburton as they finished third, but interim coaches Graeme Murty and Jimmy Nicholl would only seal another third-place.
So, five years on from Rangers hiring Caixinha and the Portuguese’s only transfer window as Gers boss, where are his nine signings no longer playing with Morelos and Jack at Ibrox?
Pedro Caixinha made Carlos Pena his big-ticket Rangers transfer in 2017
Caixinha made Pena his big-ticket Rangers transfer in June 2017 after paying Guadalajara £2.2m to sign the Mexican. The midfielder had never played outside of his home country before moving to Glasgow, and returned in January 2018 when joining Cruz Azul on loan.
Another loan, this time to Necaxa, followed in July 2018 before Pena spent the first three months of 2019 at Ibrox. Then, less than two years after joining, Rangers terminated the 19-cap international’s contract following five goals and no assists over a mere 14 outings.
Pena joined Polish side GKS Tychy following his Rangers exit before returning to Mexico in January 2020 at Correcaminos. He has since had brief spells at Veracruzano, in El Salvador with CD Fas and Guatemalan outfit Antigua GFC, but has been a free agent since January.
Eduardo Herrera now in Mexican second-tier five years after Rangers transfer
Eduardo Herrera was among Caixinha’s permanent Rangers transfers but is now plying his trade in Mexico’s second-tier at Venados. The nine-cap Mexico striker cost the Gers £1.5m when joining from UNAM Pumas, yet he only managed to score twice in 24 appearances.
Just one of the 33-year-old’s Gers goals also came during one of his 19 Premiership fixtures over only a season at Ibrox. Herrera returned to Mexico with Santos Laguna in July 2018 on loan, before two spells with Necaxa and finally leaving Glasgow for Puebla in January 2020.
Had it not been for work permit issues, Herrera would have returned to Rangers to see out the final five months of his contract in 2020. Instead, he joined Puebla for a year and later moved to Venados in July 2021, where Herrera is currently out of contract from this June.
Rangers released Graham Dorrans two years after Pedro Caixinha sealed transfer
Rangers released Graham Dorrans in September 2019, two years after Caixinha paid £1.5m for the Norwich City midfielder. The move marked a return to Scotland after nine years in England for the Glasgow-born technician, after leaving Livingston for West Brom in 2008.
But injuries meant Dorrans could not establish himself at Ibrox and left Rangers after only 23 games in all competitions. He also scored all five of his goals and three of four assists in 12 Premiership appearances before needing ankle surgery and an operation on his knee.
Dorrans bounced back from leaving Rangers by joining Dundee for a year before a move to Australia with Western Sydney. He only spent eight months down under before returning to Scotland with Dunfermline in 2021, where the 35-year-old is now the Pars’ club captain.
Pedro Caixinha transfer for Fabio Cardoso only gave Rangers one season
Caixinha splashed another £1.5m in July 2017 to sign Fabio Cardoso from Vitoria Setubal, but the defender – now back in Portugal with Porto – only spent a year at Ibrox. The Gers agreed to mutually terminate the centre-back’s contract following just 18 appearances.
Cardoso additionally only started 13 of his outings across all competitions, and only played three Premiership games after October. Santa Clara came calling for the 28-year-old in July 2018 as a free agent, and called on his services until Porto swooped last July for a transfer.
Daniel Candeias on second club since Rangers transfer under Pedro Caixinha
Daniel Candeias is now on his second club since leaving Rangers, following his transfer to Ibrox under Caixinha. The Gers signed the winger from Benfica for £700k and extended his initial two-year deal by 12 months in 2018. Yet Steven Gerrard later sold him in July 2019.
Rangers recouped just £250k of their fee when Candeias joined Turkish side Genclerbirligi three summers ago. He left Glasgow after scoring 14 and creating 25 goals over 97 games in all competitions. Candeias only played more at CD Nacional with 102 from 2010 to 2014.
Genclerbirligi released Candeias in July 2021 after seven goals and 14 assists in 68 games, while earning 16 yellow cards. He now plays in the Turkish Super Lig with Alanyaspor after agreeing to sign a two-year contract with the Bahcesehir School Arena natives last July.
Bruno Alves now in Greece after spending just one season at Ibrox
Bruno Alves joined Rangers as Caixinha’s first transfer in May 2017 after leaving Cagliari for free and the defender immediately stated, via the Daily Record: “I come here for the right reasons, and I think that I can bring this [winning the Premiership title] back to the club.”
Yet the Portuguese spent one season at Ibrox for 25 games before returning to Italy with Parma, where he spent three years. Alves left I Crociati in July 2021 to join Famalicao at 39. But he only spent 19 days there, before ending his deal to join Greek side Apollon Smyrnis.
Pedro Caixinha secured fruitless loan move for Dalcio
Among Caixinha’s transfer with Rangers in 2017, he secured a loan transfer with Benfica for Dalcio. However, the midfielder would only make three appearances in Glasgow, and made his only start in a Europa League first-round qualifying tie with Progres Niederkorn.
Dalcio later joined Belenenses SAD on loan after his sole season at Ibrox, before returning to Benfica in 2019. Yet As Aguias then sold the Guinea-Bissau international to Panetolikos, who would sell him on to Ionikos Nikeas in July 2021 after 66 games – his most at one club.
Declan John now star at Bolton five years after Pedro Caixinha’s Rangers transfer
Declan John is now the star left-back at Bolton Wanderers in England’s third-tier five years after securing a deadline day loan transfer to Rangers from Cardiff City under Caixinha. The Gers would later make his season-long switch a permanent transfer in the January of 2018.
Yet John left Ibrox in August 2018 and returned to Wales with Cardiff’s rivals Swansea City. He remained with the Jacks until July 2021 and joining Bolton after five months on loan. He had played 31 times with Rangers, half the personal-best 65 he has so far made for Bolton.
Aaron Nemane now in non-league after short Ibrox stay in 2017/18
Aaron Nemane is now playing in England’s top non-league division with Notts County after a short Ibrox stay in 2017/18. Caixinha signed the winger on loan from Manchester City for his first taste of senior football yet it only returned six appearances for 68 minutes in total.
He returned to the Etihad Stadium in January 2018, before enjoying further spells away at Go Ahead Eagles and AFC Tubize. Manchester City released the Frenchman in 2019, after which he joined Torquay for two seasons before switching to Notts County in July 2021.
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