ANDREI Kanchelskis witnessed first hand how having too many Dutch players in his squad brought an end to Dick Advocaat’s reign as Rangers manager after two trophy-laden seasons at Ibrox.

And he has warned Steven Gerrard to be wary in the transfer market this summer as he seeks to sign new players who can help him build on the success he has enjoyed during the 2020/21 campaign.

The winger was a member of treble and double-winning sides during his first two seasons at Ibrox – and also featured in the group stages of the Champions League for them.

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However, the Russian was unable to prevent Celtic from supplanting their city rivals as the dominant force in the country during his third term in Glasgow. 

The appointment of Martin O’Neill as manager and the capture of players like Neil Lennon, Chris Sutton, Alan Thompson and Joos Valgaeren for multi-million pound fees ensured the Parkhead club landed all three domestic trophies in 2001.

However, Kanchelskis felt that having a massive contingent from Advocaat’s native Netherlands in Govan at that time also proved costly.

Bert Kontermann, Ronald de Boer and Fernando Ricksen all arrived at the start of that season and joined their compatriots Michael Mols, Arthur Numan and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

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The former Dynamo Kyiv, Manchester United, Everton and Fiorentina player saw how the Rangers squad split into groups when their form dipped, results dried up and criticism started.  

Borna Barisic, Connor Goldson, Glen Kamara, Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier have all been outstanding for Rangers this season and could be the subject of lucrative bids in the close season. 

The former Liverpool and England midfielder was devastated when his charges slumped to a penalty shoot-out defeat to St Johnstone at home in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup last Sunday.

He is keen to retain the league trophy, do better in the cup competitions and make it through to the Champions League group stages next season and sporting director Ross Wilson and his recruitment team have drawn up a list of signing targets.

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Kanchelskis feels that Gerrard, who has been linked with a move for Zambian striker Fashion Sakala of Belgian club Oostende this summer, must be careful to protect the strong team spirit in his squad.

“I thought Glasgow Rangers was a very good club and their supporters were fantastic,” he said. “I had great times in Glasgow.

“It was an excellent time in my career. I thought Scotland was a beautiful country and the people were very nice to me. We also had an excellent team.

“The first season was very good – we won the treble. The second season was good also – we won the double and got to the Champions League group stages. In the third season we had problems.

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“Dick Advocaat brought in too many Dutch players. Before that we only really had Giovanni, Arthur and Michael. But after that he bought more Dutch players and there were too many of them.

“There were three groups – the Dutch players, the other foreign players and the Scottish boys. The atmosphere wasn’t great. There were problems.

“It would be a problem having too many players of any nationality at any club. If you have too many Brazilian players at a club it would be a problem. It doesn’t help the team. Steven Gerrard has done very well, but he must be careful not to make that same mistake.”