Philippe Clement inherited a squad that was not fit for purpose at Ibrox, one which was assembled on Michael Beale’s say so and to his specifications. Now the Belgian must build a group in his name and his image. That will, of course, be easier said than done.

The transition from Beale to Clement was never going to be completely smooth. In the end, it wasn’t completely successful either as Rangers fell short in the Premiership and lost the Scottish Cup final. Clement had to work with what he had and the debate over whether or not he made the most of the situation – especially when injuries are taken into account – has been mulled over during the break.

What has been has gone. Now, it is all about the future. If Rangers don’t recruit properly this summer, the feeling of déjà vu will hang ominously over Ibrox.

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The task of assembling a title-winning squad in one window is far from straightforward and major surgery is required. The No.10 berth perhaps sums up that problem succinctly. That issue must be addressed in the coming weeks.

On paper, Clement has six players who could operate in the No.10 role. As it stands, all of them are up for sale should the right offers come in. There is depth but not enough strength.

Here, the Rangers Review assesses the creative talents that Clement has at his disposal and what place, if any, they have in his plans going forward. Rangers simply must upgrade this area of the side and the central attacking threat will be integral to Clement’s blueprint this term.

Todd Cantwell

Few members of the squad provoke debate as easily as Cantwell. There were times early in Clement’s reign when his position in the side – whether he should operate on the right of the three or from a central berth – dominated the agenda. Now, it is his place in the squad that is the topic of conversation amid reports of interest from Saudi Arabia. Cantwell is an asset in the market and it is expected that he will move on just 18 months after he arrived from Norwich.

Periods on the sidelines interrupted the rhythm of Cantwell’s first full campaign at Ibrox. He registered eight goals and seven assists in 44 appearances, but it was his output in the Old Firm fixtures that really focused minds. Is he the game changer and match winner that Rangers need him to be? If Clement doesn’t trust him implicitly, then he cannot be part of the squad.

The majority of Cantwell’s minutes came in the No.10 role. If the campaign was to start tomorrow, he would be the most likely candidate to take that spot.

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Of the 50 key passes Cantwell made in the Premiership last term, four goals were scored as a result. Cyriel Dessers netted three of them and Abdallah Sima scored the other. In league terms, Cantwell outperformed his xG of 5.07, with his other effort coming in the Europa League victory at home to Sparta Prague. Yet there is a feeling that he flatters to deceive, that the output is not consistent enough. Ultimately, Rangers need more from their main creative presence.

When the hype doesn’t match the honours, criticism is always going to follow and his social media presence rubs many fans up the wrong way. That in itself is not a reason to offload him, of course. He is the best that Rangers have, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look for better.

Tom Lawrence

The Welshman was utilised in a variety of midfield roles over the course of the campaign. He was steady in each but not spectacular in any. As a result, supporters are unlikely to lose too much sleep should he return back across the border this summer. Lawrence is heading into the final year of the deal he signed when he moved from Derby County and Clement will be loathed to see him fall into the same category as the likes of Borna Barisic and John Lundstram and leave for free.

There were signs of encouragement – most notably the three goals in as many games against St Johnstone, PSV Eindhoven and Hibernian - in the first weeks of Lawrence’s Ibrox career but the knee ligament injury he sustained just nine games in wrecked his campaign. He returned almost 12 months to the day against Ross County in what was the first of 32 appearances last season. He ended the term with three goals and three assists to his credit.

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When his numbers for 90s played by position are crunched, it shows how flexible Lawrence was for Clement. He was utilised more in the central attacking midfield role (7.3 90s played) than he was in the left (1.6 90s played) and right (4.1 90s played) combined. At times, the partnership with Lundstram was a productive one. Like Cantwell, though, there were questions raised over his levels in the Old Firm fixtures and his contribution overall is not enough to justify a healthy wage at Ibrox.

The arrival of a new No.10 will limit Lawrence’s chances of a jersey further up the pitch. Behind the playmaker, Mohamed Diomande will grow in stature this term and Connor Barron has been recruited from Aberdeen. Another central addition is expected, while minutes for Nicolas Raskin or youngsters like Bailey Rice or Cole McKinnon are more beneficial than game time for Lawrence. If he wishes to play regularly, he will surely have to move on.

Kieran Dowell

That same statement can be made about Dowell. The concerns over his robustness that were expressed when he signed unfortunately came to the fore and he was limited just 17 outings last season. When the pecking order is put in black and white, Dowell is likely to fall further down it than climb up it as Clement continues to recruit from middle to front.

Most of Dowell’s minutes came in one of the deeper midfield roles, mainly on the right side. Even from there, he showed that he can deliver as an attacking presence. Dowell has the touch and technical ability to operate as a playmaker and has shown previously in his career that he can score and create goals but the fact that Clement rarely utilised him further forward perhaps tells its own story.

His two assists came in the final Premiership fixtures against Dundee and Hearts. A sweetly struck strike on matchday two rounded off a win over Livingston and raised hopes that Dowell could add a different dynamic to the Rangers midfield. His only other goal came at Fir Park and was again a moment that showed what Clement’s side had lacked at times. Those highs were just too fleeting, though.

When you remove the younger players and Oscar Cortes, who was crocked just a handful of games into his loan move, from the equation, the numbers tell their own story for Dowell and he finds himself at the wrong end of the standings for established members of the squad. His contribution of 552 league minutes is only narrowly ahead of Kemar Roofe and Ryan Jack, who played 540 and 505 respectively. Both, of course, were released at the end of their contracts and it seems unlikely that Dowell will be given the opportunity to see out the remaining two years of his Ibrox deal.

Ianis Hagi

The conversation regarding Hagi does not focus on his ability with the ball at his feet or his football brain. If he was more physically dynamic, he would be in with a shout of a start at Ibrox this season. In all likelihood, he has played his last game for Rangers.

Had Hagi known that Beale would be out the door just weeks after he headed for the exit and a loan move to Alaves then he would surely have stayed put in Glasgow. The Romanian understands the demands of Ibrox and relishes the challenge but rebuilding his career after the cruel knee injury he suffered has been a significant hurdle to overcome.

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From the outset last term, it was clear that Beale didn’t have a place for him and two minutes against Servette were followed by a half hour run-out off the bench in the League Cup win over Morton. Hagi expressed his frustration and found sympathy within a support that were eager to see him influence proceedings in the manner he had done under Steven Gerrard.

Those days are such a long time ago, though. As last season unfolded Hagi became a better player in the eyes of many without kicking a ball. His time at Alaves was not the success he needed it to be and the only two goals he scored came in a Copa del Rey win over Deportivo Murcia. For context, Alaves ran out 10-0 winners against the side from the Spanish seventh tier.

Hagi made just eight starts in La Liga but he did do enough to earn himself a place in the squad for the European Championship and he made four appearances – two from the start and two from the bench – as Romania reached the last 16. The hope at Ibrox is that the international exposure will see bidders come to the table.

Sam Lammers

The first player that Beale met as he put his plans in place last summer proved to be the signing that summed up the failures in the market. Beale spoke about Lammers giving Rangers ‘great technical and tactical quality’ and being ‘able to play in a variety of attacking positions as a number 10 or nine.’ History tells its own story.

In 31 appearances in the first half of the campaign, Lammers scored two goals – against Livingston and Dundee – and registered two assists. The arrival of Clement was the beginning of the end for the Dutchman but it had been clear long before then that he was a man unwittingly starring in the wrong movie at Ibrox. Rangers and Lammers just didn’t fit or work.

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His xG in the league was 3.86. The red triangle on the graphic above was perhaps his most infamous moment as he missed a sitter against Celtic at Ibrox. The trials and tribulations in the first weeks of the campaign shattered his confidence and he didn’t look capable of scoring or assisting as the matches unfolded. His Ibrox dream quickly turned into a nightmare.

Lammers will not, though, be the significant balance sheet loss that Rangers were once staring at. A remarkable turnaround during a loan spell at Utrecht has re-established his reputation and rescued his value. It is understood that two Eredivisie clubs have registered an interest in Lammers this summer as he prepares to depart just 12 months after arriving in a £3.5million deal from Atalanta.

That run in his homeland saw Lammers score 11 times in 20 appearances, as well as registering three assists. In each of those Eredivisie matches, Lammers was deployed as a centre-forward and that is perhaps his best position. He won’t get the chance to prove it in Glasgow.

Alex Lowry

It could have been the season that saw Lowry really kick on and establish himself. Instead, it became another campaign of frustration and unfulfilled promise. At 21, Lowry still has time on his side, but it would be quite the recovery if he was to go from forgotten figure to first team regular at Ibrox.

A loan switch to Hearts looked like being the right move at the right time for Lowry. The players that Beale recruited last summer were all ahead of him and he needed to go out and play regularly rather than picking up the odd appearance here and there for Rangers. By the time he returned to Ibrox in January, Beale had gone and Clement was left frustrated as an injury ruled him out for a lengthy spell.

Lowry’s finest moment in maroon came at Rugby Park as he scored a late winner to send Hearts into the last four of the League Cup. It turned out to be the only goal he netted in 17 outings for Steven Naismith’s side.

He showed composure and vision to collect the ball in the area, shift it by his marker and then find the bottom corner. It was a reminder of what Lowry can do.

Naismith utilised the Scotland youth international in different ways. He was most prominent on the left side of the central midfield and also operated from the left flank. Of the 8.6 90s that he played at Tynecastle, just 1.5 90s were spent in a central attacking midfield berth. Two assists against Partick Thistle came from that area, while a further two were recorded in the win over Ross County and Edinburgh derby draw in October.

The departure of a handful of those that are ahead of him could clear Lowry’s path to the first team squad. It would be a leap of faith from Clement, though. For the sake of his career, Lowry needs to play this term.