With Rangers having effectively secured Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell, subject to medical, what exactly does Michael Beale have in the 24-year-old?
Let’s make no bones about it, Cantwell is all about ‘what might have been’ – he is a potential Premier League level player, whose talent is unmistakable but who lost his way at Carrow Road and never quite lived up to his full billing.
He has indeed, however, played at Premier League level, almost 50 times, so he is no stranger to that level of competition, and Norwich fans are a combination of frustrated and disappointed with him. They’re not unhappy he’s leaving their neck of the woods, because he clearly wanted to go and it wasn’t working out, but they are deeply annoyed they never got to see him at his best consistently, and it’s a case of a player with the tools to be great, but failing to click at his current club.
So what type of player is he? Well we’ve discussed it before, but he is effectively Scotty Arfield but a younger model. He’s an attacking/central midfielder by trade, but he’s flexible to play around the middle three, and is more focused on creativity than defending for sure. He is more of a ball player than the Canadian international, but like Scotty, will frequently burst into the final third as a threat.
There’s no question Rangers have signed him as a first-team starter, even if we did say that about Ridvan Yilmaz as well… but this is a player with a market value of £20M only one year ago, but due to his loss of favour and form the past 8 months, it’s dipped down to £10M. Still not bad…
Todd Cantwell is of the quality that at his best, he’s an England call up. Maybe not starter, they’re filled with £50M superstars these days. But he’d be good enough to get a call, albeit only from a Premier League club of course. And with joining Rangers, he’s waving goodbye to any chances with the national side.
But that is the kind of talent he has. He’s just failed badly to live up to the promise, and Michael Beale and Rangers fans will very much hope Todd Cantwell can deliver on the level he’s capable of, but has fallen short of in recent times.
We welcome him to Ibrox.