It is the end of an era for many of the current crop at Ibrox. But for Michael Beale, it is the beginning of a brave new dawn for the club.

The Englishman has never been shy when expressing his thoughts that the squad at Ibrox needs an overhaul this summer, and a significant step forward was taken yesterday with the announcement that five players – Allan McGregor, Fil Helander, Scott Arfield, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos – will leave at the end of the season.

All have contributed to varying degrees during their respective stints at the club, but the feeling now is that it is time for a new group to come to the fore and lead Rangers into the club’s next chapter.

The departures of Kent and Morelos, in particular, indicate a change in tack in Govan. The debates over the pair’s respective legacies are sure to rage on for some time, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that the duo – regularly linked with big-money moves elsewhere – will be leaving for nothing.

Beale, though, is adamant that both have proven to be worthy investments – even if the club won’t recoup any of the transfer fees it shelled out for the pair.

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“Listen, you have got to have an offer and the boy has got to want to go,” he explained. “You are not going to push anyone out the door. It’s alright to say we should have taken this or that but in that time, I don’t know if people would have traded a league title, a European final or a Scottish Cup. And this team perhaps could have won more in between that as well.

“If you look at it and you put those two players together and say that they cost Rangers what they did, then I think they have made fantastic contributions to the club. I think sometimes we can be guilty of a snap judgement every three or four days.

“When we look back over it, Ryan Kent has been a fantastic player for Rangers. Certainly where we were when he came in and where he was able to help the team go to. It’s the same for Alfredo Morelos.

“I have seen them both grow up as well. They came into the club as young men and they are men now with responsibility. Alfredo is a dad and sometimes when you are with someone for a long time you recognise that they need a change.

“They need a new motivation and a new look in their eyes in a new squad, a new stadium, a new league – whatever it is. I wish them both well and I will certainly be supporting them from afar.”

The Herald:

Morelos heads for the exit as Rangers’ all-time top scorer in European competition, having cost under £1million in 2017, with 124 goals in total spread across seven eventful years.

Kent is a slightly different prospect. The winger cost £7million when he joined on a permanent deal from Liverpool – the highest fee Rangers have paid in years – and with the Englishman leaving for nothing, it is not exactly an example of the club’s player-trading model bearing fruit.

Beale, however, takes a holistic approach when it comes to the team’s transfer activity and believes that the Ibrox club can be proud of the fees it has raked in over the past 18 months – particularly given the fact that the squad that reached the Europa League final last year was largely assembled on the cheap.

He reasoned: “If you look at individual cases – let’s talk about [Calvin] Bassey for 230 grand, let’s talk about [Joe] Aribo for 200 grand, let’s talk about Nathan Patterson out of the academy. There’s £50m [received] there.

“They had to play in a team that was successful to look a good player, so I don’t want to go down that route. If you bring a player in for £850,000 and he becomes your European top scorer and stays seven years, you’ve got service from him.

“I think it’s the same with Ryan. Certainly we need to be a club that’s trading players and in the last 12 months we’ve brought nigh-on £50 million in, so we’ve traded more than anybody else in the last 18 months.

“There’s got to be a balance to it. Both boys have made a fine contribution. Where do you go to have eight players in a European final costing nothing? Let’s flip the coin a bit. Eight players who were cross-border or free transfers.

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“So we built the club on not a lot and that was a team that was successful – won a league, won a Scottish Cup, got into a European final. Now’s the time to say ‘well done’ to those five and move towards the future.”

Beale admits that some of the decisions over contract extensions have been difficult to make but he also recognises that there can be little room for sentiment as he looks to put his own stamp on the squad this summer.

The likes of McGregor and Arfield have been big presences off the park as well as on it, but the Rangers manager admits that there has to be a degree of ruthlessness if the club is to kick on next season.

“It’s always difficult,” he added. “You only see us on matchdays, you don’t see what happens around here every single day. There are a lot of things that go into making a successful team.

“People can have their opinion on us but we are a team that wins over 80 per cent of our football matches and some people are really important for the environment. I think Scott has been really important on and off the pitch, and so has Allan.

“When we are talking about sentiment, it’s difficult. I wasn’t here when decisions were made last summer but I am in control of decisions now and I think it’s right for Rangers that we don’t put a plaster over something that maybe needs amputating. We need to really move to the future.”