Mateusz Zukowski has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Ibrox; right-back will provide competition for captain James Tavernier; Poland U21 international joins from Lechia Gdansk for an undisclosed fee
Monday 31 January 2022 16:09, UK
Rangers have completed the signing of full-back Mateusz Zukowski from Lechia Gdansk for an undisclosed fee.
The 20-year-old Poland U21 international joins Rangers on a three-and-a-half-year deal subject to a successful application for a work permit.
Zukowski - who will provide competition for captain James Tavernier - won the Polish Cup with Lechia in 2019.
Speaking after signing his deal, Zukowski said: "I am delighted to join Rangers and to make this next step in my career.
"I have been so impressed with everything I have seen and heard about Rangers and to join a club of this size is fantastic for me.
"I look forward to meeting my team-mates and to making my debut in front of the supporters as soon as I can."
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said: "I am really pleased that we have been able to add Mateusz to our squad.
"We knew when Nathan (Patterson) left at the start of the month that we would need cover in the right full-back area, and it is great we have been able to find someone of Mateusz's quality.
"He will be able to learn so much from our captain and I hope to see him develop further as a player here at Rangers."
Sporting director Ross Wilson added: "I am really pleased we have been able to get this deal done for Mateusz to join the club.
"Our scouts have been watching him closely for some time and identified him as someone who could come and impact our first-team squad.
"I believe this is a sign of the scouting network we have built all over Europe now working, and I look forward to working with Mateusz here in Glasgow."
It was Rangers' long-time performance director Adam Owen who gave Zukowski his debut in professional football when he was in charge at Lechia Gdansk. The Pole had only just turned 16 at the time but had impressed everyone at the club with his potential.
"I had heard good things about him from the assistant coaches," Owen tells Sky Sports. "I watched him play in the academy games a couple of times. He was only 16 but was playing for the U19s and physically he did alright, looked like he could handle it.
"I brought him on at the end of a game for his debut. I took him up to train with the first team, then took him away on pre-season in Turkey. He did the January training camp there. He played against Qarabag and stayed with the first team from then on."
Owen, who is now a faculty member at ISSPF, the football education platform, recognised the talent, but it is only in the past season, following a loan spell in Poland's second tier, and a gradual progression, that he has really emerged as an attacking right-back.
"He played in a couple of different positions, having been a forward in the Polish youth set-up. His biggest strength was that he matured early and could handle it, he just needed to improve tactically and understand the position. He has progressed a lot."
Rangers are leading the chase to sign Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey on Deadline Day, according to Sky in Italy.
The Scottish club are in talks with Juventus over a loan with an option to sign him permanently in the summer.
A number of Premier League clubs have been considering a move for Ramsey in this window.
However, we are told Crystal Palace and Wolves are focusing their attentions elsewhere.
Burnley have been interested but believe Ramsey is destined for another club.