THE deals won't make the same headlines, don't come with the level of risk and are nowhere near as significant a financial investment for Rangers. In time, they could be just as important.

The ambition for the academy staff at Auchenhowie remains the same, but the opening days and weeks of the summer have seen a tweaked strategy come into play. Not content with just producing their own talent, Rangers are buying it in as well.

There has always been a market for younger players and the process of up-and-coming kids moving from one club to another is certainly not out of the ordinary as youth departments continually search for the next big thing, the rough diamond that can be polished.

Players will take various routes on their way to the top. Ultimately, if their mentality matches their talent then they will rise through the ranks and make a name for themselves at Ibrox or elsewhere.

This summer has seen many decide that Rangers are the best place for them to learn and grow. Time will tell if the faith that all parties have placed in each other pays off and if the deals that have been done prove to be failed gambles or shrewd acquisitions.

On Tuesday, Rangers confirmed that seven players from their schoolboy programme will move into the Under-18s setup that is guided by Cameron Campbell and Steven Smith. Alongside them, there were six names - Cameron Cooper, Kieron Willox, Paul Nsio, Souleyman Mandey and Mason Munn - who are new to the club as well as that level of football.

“We would like to welcome all of the boys on the start of their exciting full-time journey here at Rangers," Craig Mulholland, the Rangers Head of Academy, said. "They will now enter an education programme with our U18 group under the guidance of Cameron, Steven and a wide range of multi-disciplinary staff who will ensure a programme is delivered which will give the lads the building blocks for hopefully a long professional career.

"This year’s intake is quite different from previous years with a wider diversity to the group in terms of profile and with a greater external intake than normal we will quickly help the players understand the strong values and standards expected at Rangers.

"Our recruitment team have done a fantastic job identifying and securing new high potential talent from various locations and while we realise there is lots of work to be done, for both players and staff, we are excited to see the levels that some of these lads can reach in a few year’s time.

"We would like to thank Glentoran, Partick Thistle, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Lambeth Tigers and Pulse Academy for their professionalism while discussing the possibility of the players joining Rangers."

Rangers have always sought to attract the best players to Ibrox but this represents a bolder, deeper approach to recruitment for the academy and the deals for those half a dozen youngsters follow those that have seen Lancelot Pollard move from Aberdeen and Zak Lovelace agree to leave Millwall, the club where he made his debut as a 15-year-old last term.

Motherwell's Bailey Rice this week opted for a move to Rangers despite interest from Celtic after his breakthrough season at Fir Park. Cameron Bell, the Everton defender and Scotland Under-17 internationalist, has also chosen Ibrox as his next destination and Archie Stevens has moved from AFC Wimbledon.

There are, of course, no guarantees when it comes to academy football but the hope is that Rangers have stolen a march on their rivals by landing exciting, eye-catching talents early in their development and their progression will now be overseen at Auchenhowie.

As is the case at first team level, there is a natural pecking order and every club has a place. Rangers have been able to use their pulling power to see off competition to sign the likes of Pollard and Lovelace, but have also seen one of their most talked about talents leave after Rory Wilson opted to join Aston Villa rather than sign a new contract.

While it is never palatable to see good players move on, a pride and satisfaction can be shared amongst academy staff when players are poached. After a long process, it is validation of the programme that is continually improved and reshaped under the eye of Mulholland and sporting director Ross Wilson.

Mulholland said: "We know how exciting and proud a time this is for the players and their families and our staff off the pitch will support them fully to ensure they also maximise their academic education, have strong well-being support and are housed in excellent home environments, all of which will aid their development as footballers and importantly as people.

"This year is a great example of our clear strategy of combing exciting home grown talent with external recruitment as part of our player trading model.

"We wish all of the boys and their families well on their journeys and all at Rangers will give them all of the help and support they require to succeed."

Last season ended with well-earned pats on the back around Auchenhowie as another handful of players made the breakthrough into Giovanni van Bronckhorst's squad. Over the coming season, their influence and reputation should grow further.

Ten graduates played first team football and seven - including goalscorer Cole McKinnon - were on the park at the end of the victory over Hearts at Tynecastle. The majority will be B Team-based in the Lowland League this term, but the likes of Leon King and Alex Lowry have earned their spot amongst the players that will bid for the Premiership title.

The path that Billy Gilmour was the trailblazer on was taken by Nathan Patterson. Now, having banked an eight-figure sale for a player that was nurtured all the way through, Rangers must produce the next stars of tomorrow and the work never stops for Mulholland and his staff.

That fruits of that labour will not be seen for some time. It has started today, though, and the headlines and big-money moves could yet belong to those who have just signed on at Ibrox.