So what do the additions of Todd Cantwell, Nicolas Raskin and Morgan Whittaker mean for Rangers? Obviously, two of those are yet to be confirmed, albeit the second seems very close to completion, but if we theorise with a healthy dose of conjecture, what do these signings do for the squad and for the first team?
First of all, can we be very clear – Todd Cantwell is NOT a replacement for Ryan Kent. Cantwell will play behind Kent in Malik Tillman’s slot, and that is generally his most productive position. He can play a little deeper as well, but as we said before, the player he is most akin to is Scott Arfield, and that’s whose ‘place’ he’s going to take.
But with Scotty no longer a first pick and used as depth, it’s a moot point.
Tillman is the one who should be more concerned – the signing of Cantwell is very much in his position – Cantwell is not a pure 10, not an explicit attacking midfielder like Tillman, but he’s an advanced CM who can deputise in any creative position. And he’s not been signed to sit on the bench.
Then there’s Nicolas Raskin. It’s looking close, so where will he play? Deep midfield, that’s where. He’s a defensive midfielder and he now provides depth in a position where John Lundstram had no competition. Ryan Jack, as said earlier, now plays more of an advanced CM position, and Glen Kamara’s head was turned a long time ago. Moving forward we may well see Lunny and Raskin as the new duo.
Finally it’s Morgan Whittaker – it’s still ongoing, but if he does make the switch north, where does he play? On the right, that’s where. He’s a RW by trade, and it’s Fashion Sakala who’d make way – Whittaker is another who won’t be content with the subs area.
So, a Rangers XI with these three is easy to consider:
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Davis, Barisic; Raskin, Lundstram, Cantwell; Kent, Colak/Morelos, Whittaker.
It’s not overly complicated and the ‘who makes way’ isn’t exactly valid either, given Rangers aren’t completely playing with consistent high quality.
Time will tell if we can get Raskin and Whittaker over the line, but the future looks more promising already with Cantwell.