AN outlay of £4.5m does not seem especially significant when it is compared to the transfer fees which are regularly lavished on new players during the January transfer window in the Premier League down in England. 

Yet, for Rangers, a club which has struggled with well-publicised financial problems for a long time now and only managed to post a profit after years of crippling losses back in 2022, it is a substantial amount indeed.

The Ibrox outfit have only spent more on eight footballers – Tore Andre Flo, Ryan Kent, Michael Ball, Mikel Arteta, Danilo, Andrei Kanchelskis, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Lorenzo Amoruso – in their entire 152 year history.

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Philippe Clement, though, is convinced that the money which it has taken to lure Mohamed Diomande to Scotland from Nordsjaelland in Denmark has been very well spent indeed and will be recouped many times over in future.

Clement yesterday waxed lyrical about the Ivorian midfielder’s many qualities as he prepared for the difficult cinch Premiership match against St Mirren away in Paisley this afternoon.

But what clearly pleased the Belgian greatly was that the 22-year-old has considerable resale value. 

The Herald: The former Genk, Club Brugge and Monaco manager knows that Rangers have to bring in talented young prospects who they can develop and improve and then offload for much more than they paid if they are to flourish in the modern game and continue to compete on the continent.

He is confident that Diomande, who he was aware of long before he arrived in Glasgow, can help his team to enjoy success at home and abroad in the seasons ahead and then boost Rangers’ bank balance further down the line.

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“He’s one of the big prospects in Scandinavia,” said Clement. “Everybody knew him. So that is a big step that he wants to come to our team because there were a lot of clubs interested.

“He’s a young player with a lot of experience already, he’s played over 100 games. He played for a good team, a team that everyone is following because every year there is a lot of talent coming out of their academy, and for sure the African academy.

“Dio has been on the list for a long time here, but also with my old club. But it was the scouting team here who came up with the name. It’s nothing new with this kind of player because I am sure he was on the list of 100 teams.

“If you are one of the bigger prospects in Scandinavia then you are on the lists of a lot of teams. We are really happy we could convince him to come here, he was really clear he wanted to come here. I’m sure there are other teams who wanted to pay more money for him.”

He added: “He’s someone with a lot of versatility. He can play in defensive midfield, he can play offensive, he can play No.10, six and eight. He’s even played left full-back or left winger.

The Herald: “So it’s someone with good technical qualities and a lot of running capacity. That’s the interesting thing, he has discipline in his game to be able to play defensively, but he’s also got a creative side.”

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Asked about Diomande’s hefty price tag, Clement said: “An assessment is made by the whole club, what he is worth now and what he can be worth in the future. So it’s a longer term investment in that way.

“We had a lot of good talks together and I think he’s convinced because of the club, the fans, the project and the way of working and growing as a player. We are aligned about that and it’s now about him showing it in the short term but for sure in long term too.

“It’s crucial (to have a sustainable model) because you cannot survive as a club in Europe, where things are evolving, if you don’t have that model. You need to get players in and after a period of time sell them for profit. 

“You either do that or you need to have an investor who puts crazy money in every year. We are not a club like that so we need to have a transfer model to grow. If you don’t grow you go backwards because there are other teams that are growing in Europe. And in the league also. So you need this model, it’s really clear.”

Clement has been impressed by the number of outstanding young players who Nordsjaelland, who have a tie up with the renowned Right to Dream Academy in Ghana, and many other Danish clubs have produced in recent years and would like Rangers to have their own production line of homegrown talent .

He has personal experience of bringing through kids who go on to bigger and better things and feels that is perhaps why he was preferred to Frank Lampard when Rangers were appointing a replacement for Michael Beale back in October.

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“That’s one of the parts I have been talking about also with the club,” he said. “From the first day I stepped in to the building they knew about that and it was one of the reasons, also, that they finally chose me. I have always been busy with the development of young players. 

 “Look at Genk where we had Leandro Trossard who was a young player who came through. Sander Berge was another young player who went to Sheffield. Jhon Lucumi we got as a young player at 18 from Colombia. Joakim Maehle is at Atalanta now and he was also a really young player. 

The Herald: Rangers manager Philippe Clement, right, in training at Auchenhowie“There was a lot at Brugge as well.  In Monaco we had Aurelien Tchouameni and Axel Disasi and other young players coming through and developing. So it’s an important thing because you cannot survive as a club if you only spend. If you don’t make profit the club cannot survive. So we need to find a model that turns a profit out of transfers.”

Rangers fans will need to wait to see Diomande in action – their new recruit is back in Denmark waiting on his visa and working with an Ibrox performance coach to ensure that he makes an immediate impact when he finally arrives in Govan.

“I first want to see his physical abilities and how he is,” he said. “He needs to adapt to the group and to the way of playing, everything. He is a signing who is not here for the next month, he is here for the next few years. 

“It’s about how fast he takes the steps. It’s not like he comes in and just gets his place in the team. No, you need to perform for that. You need to show that on the training pitch and you need to show that in the games.”