IT may just have been a pre-season friendly and the opposition might only have been English League One club Oxford United.

Yet, the first opportunity to see the new players that Steven Gerrard brought to Rangers during the close season still ensured that a healthy crowd of 22,156 filed through the turnstiles at Ibrox this afternoon.

Joe Aribo, George Edmundson, Jake Hastie, Jordan Jones, Greg Stewart and Sheyi Ojo all received game time in a match the home team eased to a 5-0 win in.

So will the new sextet improve Rangers and enable them to challenge their city rivals Celtic for the major honours in Scottish football in the coming season? Or were supporters left wondering why on earth they were brought in?


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Here we have a look at how the new recruits fared and what Rangers fans can expect from them in the months ahead.

JOE ARIBO: The 22-year-old midfielder, who arrived from Charlton Athletic for a £300,000 fee last month, started the game. He was a physical presence in the middle of the park, showed great pace going forward and good close control. He sclaffed a half-chance in the Oxford penalty area in the first-half. Early days, but he looks destined to become something of a cult hero.

GEORGE EDMUNDSON: Costing £650,000 from Oldham Athletic, Edmundson is the most expensive player to be signed by Rangers this summer. He appears well worth the outlay. He also kicked the game off and formed a new central defensive partnership along with Nikola Katic. A big unit, he impressed with his reading of the game as well as his distribution from the back.

JAKE HASTIE: The Motherwell player may, despite netting several eye-catching goals, have been overshadowed by his team mate David Turnbull at Fir Park last season. But on this evidence the 20-year-old has much to offer Rangers. He linked well with Stewart in the first-half to tee up Aribo with an opportunity in the first-half. An encouraging start.


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GREG STEWART: The forward is well known to Scottish supporters from his spells with Dundee, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen. The 29-year-old played up front and was the new boy who impressed the most. He set up Daniel Candeias for the opening goal early in the first-half with a wonderful defence-splitting through ball and then netted the second himself. He received the ball on the goal line cut inside Jose Mousinho and slotted a left foot shot beyond Simon Eastwood from a tight angle.

JORDAN JONES: The Northern Ireland internationalist has made no secret of his joy at signing for Rangers since putting pen to paper on a pre-contract agreement back in January. Should fans of the Ibrox club he as happy to have the former Kilmarnock winger? He came on with half an hour remaining, but didn’t exert much influence on proceedings.

SHEYI OJO: Loan players from English clubs have experienced mixed fortunes in Govan in recent seasons. Ryan Kent, who Gerrard still hopes to bring back from Liverpool, was sensational. But Ovie Ejaria, his Anfield team mate, didn’t fare as well and moved on in December.

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Ojo, the England Under-21 winger who has had spells at Wigan, Wolves, Fulham and Reims in France in the past four years, looks capable of grasping this opportunity. He certainly took his goal well. He got on the end of a James Tavernier pass, rounded Oxford defender Sam Long and netted off the inside of the left post. Looks to be direct and a real handful for defences.