MAYBE Michael Beale is an old romantic at heart. Depending on your own vintage, think of either James Stewart in Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life or Ryan Gosling in Nick Cassavetes’s The Notebook. You know the story: in a bid to win hearts and minds, these leading men find abandoned old vestiges of glorious pasts in the form of dilapidated mansions and set to work on rebuilding the edifices to their former glories to woo their respective love interests. Without any apparent construction experience, planning permissions applications pending, contractors’ and suppliers’ delays, a clean, fresh home fit for the picture-perfect family emerges from a few short cuts of hard labour spanning a couple of seasons.

When Beale rejoined Rangers as a relative rookie with five months’ managerial experience under his belt at QPR, he took over a stuttering side whose Champions League group campaign had been an unmitigated disaster and whose hopes of wresting the title back from rivals Celtic under Ange Postecoglou were in their dying embers. But this was a side that had reached the final of the Europa League the previous season under Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Beale made a positive start in steadying the ship and went on a prolonged unbeaten run in the league, albeit he was ultimately unable to catch runaway leaders Celtic. Moves in the transfer market in his first window in January proved positive as supporters welcomed the arrivals of Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin for a combined outlay of under £3m.

Glasgow Times: Todd Cantwell has made a promising start to his Rangers careerTodd Cantwell has made a promising start to his Rangers career (Image: PA)

It is often said that a manager needs two windows to mould a team into their own image, and Beale has wasted no time this summer in completely altering the squad he inherited last November. It has been less nip/tuck and more rip-it-up-and-start-again: gone are club legend Allan McGregor, who hung up his gloves at the end of last season, veteran midfielder Scott Arfield, mercurial forward Ryan Kent, fellow wide man Fashion Sakala, maverick striker Alfredo Morelos, his understudy last term Antonio Colak, Malik Tillman, the Bayern Munich prospect who had come on to a reasonable game towards the end of the campaign but whose option-to-buy has not been availed of by the Ibrox club. With a deportation list so long it might bring a smile to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s face, it was clear that Beale was entering the renowned “rebuild” phase of the aspiring manager’s narrative arch.

Bolstered by the relative success of his previous acquisitions in the market in January, Beale was acting out that fabled fast-forward building montage scene in his Rangers movie and addressed the bedrock of the team by bringing in goalkeeper Jack Butland from Crystal Palace, with the former England internationalist proving to be a steadying influence in goal. The creaking foundations were reinforced with the arrivals of full-back Dujon Sterling from Chelsea and the return of veteran Nigeria internationalist Leon Balogun as cover in central defence.

Jose Cifuentes looks like he could challenge Ianis Hagi for a creative role in midfield, who himself has that cliched "new-signing feel" about him having recovered from over a year out injured. The Romanian has always possessed playmaking ability, but perhaps lacked the physicality to compete in the cut and thrust of the Premiership on a consistent basis. But he has returned in vastly improved physical condition and will certaily fancy his chances of keeping the likes of Cifuentes at bay if he can remain fit. Kieran Dowell, meanwhile, joined a congested list of options in the central area but looks more likely to be a back-up to the likes of Ryan Jack.

Glasgow Times: Jack Butland in action for RangersJack Butland in action for Rangers (Image: PA)

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In a bid to fix the roof while the sun shines, Beale used the summer window to get work done up top as Feyenoord forward Danilo was signed for around £6m, striker Cyriel Dessers from Serie B side Cremonese for a fee in the region of £4m, Sam Lammers from Italian top-flight side Atalanta for around £3.5m and Abdallah Sima on loan from Brighton to complete a refurbished forward line. All four have played their part in the two competitive games so far this season – the 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock on the opening day of the Premiership campaign and the 2-1 Champions League qualifying victory over Servette on Wednesday night – and have amassed a solitary goal between them with Dessers’ tap-in from a yard out to double the advantage at Ibrox in midweek. Sima in particular looks raw, tending to take up a starting position wide on the left then narrowing his 6' 2" frame into the six-yard box to attack crosses. It could be an effective route to goal but he will need to sharpen up his finishing if he is to play a significant role this term.

Glasgow Times: Cyriel Dessers celebrates scoring his first Rangers goalCyriel Dessers celebrates scoring his first Rangers goal (Image: PA)

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A good builder never blames his tools, however, and the jury is out on whether any of these signings represent an improvement on what Rangers had last term. Certainly, they seem to lack a natural understanding of the blueprint Beale is trying to implement. Given the £10m combined fees paid for Brazilian striker Danilo and Dutchman Dessers, there is a level of pedigree and expectation around those two in particular. Both looked promising in patches in the first-leg clash against the Swiss outfit, although they both appear to have followed Alfredo Morelos’s pre-season training regime. It will take time for the duo to get up to speed given how far off the pace they are, and time is something Beale does not have on his side in a month where his team will play eight competitive fixtures across three competitions should they progress to the Champions League play-off, followed closely by a first Premiership derby against Celtic on September 3.

Qualifying for the Champions League for a second successive season will cover the significant outlay this summer on transfers, but there are no guarantees that should they get the job done in Geneva next week that this new-build side will be able to see off likely play-off opponents PSV Eindhoven to reach the coveted group stage.

Assuming the role of Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud for a minute, let’s remind Beale of the potential pitfalls lurking in his grand project: say Rangers are eliminated from Champions League qualifying, drop further points behind Celtic in the Premiership table before the first Old Firm in a little over three weeks’ time, then lose at home to their city rivals to fall further behind on September 3; this may be a worst-case scenario, but this outcome is far from unthinkable. Then the question becomes: Will supporters accept the scale of the project and allow Beale time to get back on track, or will he lose the deeds and be sent packing?

The romantic notion of building up from nothing to win hearts may be an appealing fantasy in Hollywood movies, but any notion that the Ibrox support will let sentiment rule their quest for success is folly. Could the bulldozers be called in on this vanity project? Stay tuned to find out.