Rangers: Pedro Caixinha's vision becomes clear during summer recruitment

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha
Pedro Caixinha has signed five players so far, with at least three more still to be finalised

The Rangers team under Pedro Caixinha is beginning to take shape. Five new signings have already joined the club, while the paperwork for three more is progressing through the work permit process.

It is clear from the positions the manager has targeted and the qualities of the players he has signed that he identified the need for a new spine to the side and a stronger, more competitive mentality.

Rangers' summer recruitment is not complete, with Caixinha still in the market for an attacker who can play wide and a central midfielder who can operate in deeper and more advanced roles.

The club has had an offer for Jamie Walker rejected by Hearts and been linked with Kenny McLean of Aberdeen, with both players having entered the final year of their contracts.

The work carried out so far, though, means it is likely that only three players from last season will remain in the strongest XI that Caixinha can field, since there have been no moves for a new goalkeeper, right-back or left-back.

Rangers line up
How Pedro Caixinha might want his Rangers side to line up next season

Two of the signings - the midfielder Dalcio and the forward Alfredo Morelos, who can both play centrally or wide - will likely add ballast to the squad. Challenges await Caixinha, not least how to maintain the morale and unity of the players who will inevitably be marginalised by his rebuilding work.

Only four players have left the club so far, with the contracts of Philippe Senderos and Clint Hill ending, as well as the loan agreements for Jon Toral and Emerson Hyndman.

Others will follow, with Ipswich having shown an interest in striker Joe Garner. The futures of defender Rob Kiernan, midfielders Matt Crooks and Harry Forrester, and forwards Michael O'Halloran and Martyn Waghorn, are also uncertain.

With Barrie McKay yet to sign a contract extension and having entered the final 12 months of his existing deal, Rangers need to find a buyer for the winger this summer or risk losing him for only a compensation fee.

What Rangers have added to the squad in Bruno Alves,Fabio Cardoso,Ryan Jack, Dalcio and Daniel Candeias is experience, energy, dynamism, width and an understanding of the style of play that Caixinha wants to implement.

Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso and manager Pedro Caixinha
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha arrives at Glasgow Airport during the summer with defender Fabio Cardoso, who joined from Vitoria Setubal

The Mexicans Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera, along with the Colombian Morelos, require work permits, while Rangers also continue to pursue the Norwich and Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans, with the player surplus to requirements at Carrow Road and almost certain to leave in the summer.

There is a mix of foreign and Scottish players arriving this summer, which ought to help avoid any cliques forming between those who remain from the Mark Warburton era and those who are brought to the club by Caixinha.

The team's most likely starting shape is 4-2-3-1, and the manager tended to adopt an aggressive press and attacking style in Mexico, looking for his team to win the ball high up the park and transition quickly into the attacking phase.

Candeias is an industrious figure out wide, and delivers crosses from the flanks rather than cutting infield, while Pena is a box-to-box midfielder who is dangerous in the final third.

Former Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack
Ryan Jack left Aberdeen when his contract ended and became Rangers' second signing of the summer

Jordan Rossiter and Jack will likely compete for a midfield place if Dorrans is eventually signed, but Caixinha has options, with Jason Holt having played often under the Portuguese manager in the final two months of last season.

With the acquisitions of Alves and Cardoso, plus Jack's positioning to gain control in midfield, Rangers should be more defensively sound, but Caixinha also wants his side to be more dynamic in attack.

He has worked with Candeias before, and knows the games of Pena, Herrera, Dalcio and Cardoso.

Having spent two months in charge of Rangers at the end of the last season, Caixinha had the advantage of experiencing at first hand the characteristics of Scottish football and the qualities of their Premiership rivals, which should minimise the risk of his signings not fitting in.

The new side has to gel, and existing players will need to either fit into the new regime or face an uncertain future.

That scenario is also potentially awkward for Caixinha to manage, but his priority is to construct a Rangers team than can be competitive not just in one-off encounters next season but across the campaign as a whole.

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