Rangers boss Mark Warburton insists he has used the January transfer window to start building for next season – even though he has yet to clinch a permanent signing.
So far, the loan additions of Bournemouth’s Emerson Hyndman and Arsenal midfielder Jon Toral are the only deals struck by the Rangers manager this month.
Rivals Celtic, however, have been busy completing the £2.8million capture of Eboue Kouassi, with Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers still keen to add more new faces.
That has left sections of the Light Blues support worried that their team – 22 points adrift of the Parkhead league leaders already this term – will be left even further behind next season.
But Warburton hopes he can lay the foundations for a successful summer transfer window with this month’s dealing.
Asked if relying on loan moves would compromise his long-term strategy, the Englishman said: “Not at all. The loan players don’t always go back. Sometimes loans are extended.
“If they do go back you’d like to think that sometimes it shows the parent club you can do a good job developing their assets, which being brutally honest is what the players are, as cold as that may sound.
“You have to show that as a club you can send their assets back having increased in value and experience and to perform better for the parent club.
“If you can do that then hopefully you’ll get the next tranche of loanees. That’s how it works.
“The clubs down south have far more extensive squads which are far more expensively assembled than we can afford to do there. So if you can show you can benefit their assets then hopefully it will hold you in good stead going forward.
“I hear what you’re saying about players going back but the fact of the matter is that loan players are hugely effective and everybody can benefit if you get the loan right.”