Aaron Ramsey has joined Rangers on loan from Juventus for the rest of the season.
Ramsey’s move is viewed as a major coup for the Scottish Premiership leaders, with Juventus cooperating on wages to ensure he fits into the Ibrox side’s wage structure.
The Wales international who has scored 20 times in 71 games for his country was also of interest to several Premier League clubs.
Ramsey – who made 83 appearances for Juventus – could make his Rangers debut at Celtic on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports.
He said: „I am really pleased to be joining a club like Rangers, where there is so much to look forward to between now and May.
„I had a number of offers on the table, but none matched the magnitude of this club, with European football and the chance to play in front of 50,000 fans every other week.
„I have had some fantastic conversations with the manager and Ross Wilson, and I’m really looking forward to working with both of them, and to meeting the supporters.“
Manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, added: „I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to add a player of Aaron’s quality, experience and leadership to our squad.
„As soon as it was mooted as a possibility, I was really keen for us to try everything to get the deal done, and huge credit must go to Ross and to the Board for the work they have put in on this.“
Sporting Director, Ross Wilson, said: „This is a really exciting signing for both Rangers and Aaron. As soon as I was made aware of the opportunity we had to bring Aaron to Rangers around a week ago, we have worked really hard to secure his signature.
„Not only is Aaron a world-class player who will play a key role in our team, his level of ability and professional standards will be an inspiration to our existing players.
„We see Aaron as a leader, a quality player and a wonderful character to bring into our club. Any agreement we reach has to be within our normal wage model and Aaron’s desire to play here has enabled us to achieve this with Juventus’s cooperation.“
Boyd: ‘Rangers still one of biggest UK clubs’
Sky Sports’ Kris Boyd:
„The Aaron Ramsey deal to Rangers shows that the club is still one of the biggest in the UK. He’s turned down Premier League clubs to join Rangers and the player speaks about playing in front of 50,000 fans, European football and the chance to go and win trophies.
„He’s not motivated by money otherwise he wouldn’t be anywhere near Rangers. But we do know it’s within Rangers’ wage structure so there’s no problems there. It’s a fantastic signing not only for Rangers but for Scottish football as a whole.
„Maybe tomorrow, when it starts to sink in with people, Paul Gascoigne going to Rangers was probably the last time that a proper footballer arrived in Scottish football. That’s what Ramsey is. It just shows you the lure of Rangers.“
Ferdinand: Ramsey biggest signing since Gascoigne
Ex St Mirren, West Ham & Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand:
„For Ally McCoist to say it’s the biggest signing since Paul Gascoigne, it tells you the reasons why he should go there.
„If he does half as well as Paul Gascoigne did he’s going to be looked upon as a king up there.
„For someone who has had the career that he’s had, the ups and downs and the bad injury, to go to Juventus and it hasn’t worked out, to come to a club like Rangers and, if does do the business, be a king in and around Glasgow and around Ibrox would be fantastic for him.
„It would be a fantastic way for him to see out and maybe finish his career.“
Merson: Brilliant news for Rangers, bad news for Celtic
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:
„It’s brilliant news for Rangers, bad news for Celtic. It just shows you how much those two teams have come on and how big they are that Aaron Ramsey would go to Rangers. It just goes to show how big those two clubs are, in my opinion.
„Wales are going to be playing against Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers, and a Scottish team are going to take him on to get game time to try to knock Scotland out!
„He was disappointing in Serie A. He got behind the eight ball early doors, got an injury, and I think when you get a move at a big club like that you’ve got to start well. I’m shocked there’s not a lot of Premier League clubs in for him.
„He’s a midfield player who scores goals, a good player. I’m shocked there’s not more players in for him. I don’t know a team he wouldn’t improve. There’s no Frank Lampards around any more scoring goals from midfield like that. You look at Newcastle buying players left, right and centre – he’d be the best they bought by a country mile.“
Sky Sports’ Jack Wilkinson:
Ramsey was widely applauded for taking the leap to go and play overseas, and it’s a decision that has almost certainly been vindicated.
Despite not quite hitting the levels he did in his final season at Arsenal, Ramsey’s first two campaigns at Juventus under Maurizio Sarri and then Andrea Pirlo were a success and saw the Welshman win Serie A, Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup titles.
Issues have cropped up this season under Massimiliano Allegri, however, mainly in the form of injuries, which have limited him to just three Serie A appearances this season.
In fact, Ramsey has missed 17 games this season, as many as he did in his first two seasons combined at Juventus.
Ramsey will undoubtedly look back at his time at Juventus, the success he’s enjoyed, and the opportunity to experience a new footballing culture, fondly, but for a player aged 31, and with a decent chunk of his career remaining, he cannot be appearing as infrequently as he has.
With Juventus reportedly keen to get Ramsey’s hefty salary off the wage bill, moving on from the club could be one that suits both club and player.
A clearer indication of the prowess Ramsey still possesses, and his possible suitability to Rangers, can be seen upon studying his performances for Wales since he moved to Juventus, rather than his final-season struggles in Turin.
Remarkably, Ramsey has scored more goals for his country, 13, since moving to Juventus than he actually has for Juventus, and that’s despite playing three times the number of Serie A games.
In terms of his name and reputation alone, three-time FA Cup winner Ramsey would definitely sprinkle some stardust on Giovani van Bronckhorst’s squad, who head into 2022 in position to retain the Scottish Premiership title.