Rangers £3m ace criticised as his Ibrox move collapsed as he was branded ‘unprofitable’
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Rangers £3m ace criticised as his Ibrox move collapsed as he was branded ‘unprofitable’

When the £3million Rangers man looks back on his career, will he reflect on his CV with a feeling of regret in the pit of his stomach?

How else could the fate of a player who could probably only enjoy good form for a few months over the last five years have turned out?

Will he regret those multi-million-pound moves? Rangers, for example, paid £3m for a striker who was averaging more than £1m per goal for the Scottish Premiership giants.

Despite an excellent loan spell at FC Utrecht, during which Sam Lammers found form after a long spell, the capricious Dutchman entered another summer transfer window with an uncertain future.

Rangers are still expected to sell.

However, after Dutch reporter Hans Kraay Junior revealed in an interview with ESPN that his eye-watering £20,000-a-week salary is simply too high for clubs other than the Eredivisie’s ‘big three’ of PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord, the chances of a move to AZ Alkmaar, Twente and back to Utrecht are looking slimmer.

Rangers £3m ace criticised as his Ibrox move collapsed as he was branded ‘unprofitable’
Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Sam Lammers is still a Rangers player

Utrecht coach Ron Jans said in June that he would not give up hope until the proverbial fat lady started singing.

The arrival of another striker, Noah Ohio, at the Galgenwaard Stadium this week, however, seems to be the clearest sign that Utrecht have finally come to terms with defeat.

Leon ten Voorde, a Dutch reporter speaking to De Ballen Verstand, believes it is time for the 27-year-old Lammers to finally come to his senses and claims he needs to consider taking a significant pay cut if he does not want his career to become a classic case of wasted potential.

“Sam Lammers didn’t put football first throughout his career,” says Ten Voorde. “He always chose clubs where you thought: ‘you won’t play there’.”

After a brilliant spell at Heerenveen in 2019, Lammers embarked on unsuccessful and ill-advised stints with Atalanta, Eintracht Frankfurt, Empoli and Sampdoria.

He then moved to Rangers, where he scored just twice in 31 appearances before being sent off by Philippe Clement at the first opportunity.

“You get the impression he’s going for the money. Go play football. He’s unattainable (for Eredivisie teams) in terms of salary,” Ten Voorde added.

“FC Twente, AZ or FC Utrecht would be good clubs for him. Then he will have a very nice life after (he turns) 35. But until 35 it’s great if you can do nice things.”

“He’s in the best moment of his life right now, so you want to play football, right?”

A return to the Eredivisie now seems unlikely

It is hard to imagine Lammers playing too much football if he stays at Rangers this summer.

Although Clement could not help but notice 10 goals in 18 appearances for Utrecht, the Ibrox boss is already fielding Todd Cantwell, Tom Lawrence and Kieran Dowell in a starting line-up to fight for the tenth spot.

Lammers, who at his best is an elegant and confident striker but at his worst ineffective and sluggish, is also capable of leading the team as a number nine.

Hamza Igamane’s potential £1.7m transfer, reminiscent of Alfredo Morelos’, poses another obstacle in his way, even if there is a chance Cyriel Dessers could leave before the end of the summer.

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