Carlos Peña, 27-year-old, 5’ 10” attacking midfield star who has been capped 19 times by Mexico and was selected to play for them in the 2014 World Cup Finals whilst playing for Leon and is now with Rangers and hoping to force his way into playing for us very soon.
The Scottish giants agreed a fee with Chivas Guadalajara for the midfielder’s services and according to Mexican outlet Laaficion, the Liga MX outfit got $4.5m (£3.49m) from the transaction, but through his lack of fitness, he still cannot force his way into this new starting Rangers line-up.
In fairness to him, Pedro arranged his squad to start pre-season early due to a first-round Qualifying Europa League match which started far too early for Scottish teams to do themselves justice in the early rounds of this competition. In fact, Rangers were a disgrace when they were humbled by a part-time Luxembourg side that knocked them out of the competition at the first hurdle.
This is Peña’s first time out of Mexico and the midfielder is still trying to settle down in Scotland, but he has ticked off an ambition to play in Europe by making the move to Ibrox. He is a player that Gers boss Pedro Caixinha knows well from his time at Santos Laguna, and he feels he can do well in the SPL.
“Carlos was playing for Leon in the play-offs and he was great. Since that moment I have been passionate about this player because he represents everything I want on the pitch in that number 8 position and he can give the team so much. Travelling from the back and arriving in the box, scoring goals and playing attractive fantastic football, I believe he can fit totally into our way of playing and our philosophy at this club and Scottish football as well.”
Peña told Rangers TV:
“I am very happy to become part of this great club that has such great supporters. Since I was a little boy I have wanted to play in Europe, but I haven’t really had the opportunity until now. Hopefully I will be able to make the most of it.”
He is a goal scoring midfield player and in his first spell with the club Peña netted 12 goals in 31 matches to help Leon win promotion via the play offs.
He moved to CD Guadalajara in Dec ‘15 in a deal worth an astonishing $8million and after a desperately disappointing first year Peña was returned back to Leon on loan in Dec ‘16.
He is a typical Central American midfielder who loves to run with the ball and attack teams from the middle of the park. He has also shown that he chips in with his fair share of goals from his favoured midfield position.
He’s not the tallest at 5ft 10 but is credited for being strong and commanding in the centre of the park. Reports at the time of the 2014 World Cup said he was one of the most influential players in Mexico, and is good at breaking up the opposition and starting his own attacks. He can also play on the left hand side if required.
With Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans impressing so well centrally for Rangers, while the wings seem to be monopolised by Josh Windass, Daniel Candeias and Niko Kranjcar, when will we see actually Peña performing in a Rangers jersey and strutting his stuff at Ibrox in front of 51,000 supporters?
Hopefully something to look forward to.