After a grumpy last article moaning about the useless Jon McLaughlin, we wish instead in this one to turn our attention to the very, very special talent that is Todd Cantwell.
If ever a player looked leagues ahead of his Rangers team mates, it was this playmaker, a guy who looks like he’s worn the shirt for years and is not only full of confidence, but full of ideas too.
As early as the first couple of minutes, he (nearly) picked Alfredo out from deep with a pass which not another soul in Scottish football would have seen, and Fredo himself wasn’t thinking sharp enough to catch the ball quick enough.
Cantwell has a football brain, and an intelligent football brain at that, and the 24-year-old, gloriously, has signed a four-year deal with the Famous so we have him till at least 2027 or failing that, a big transfer fee for him.
There is no question his performances so far have easily shown why Norwich once had a £50M pricetag on his head – he oozes class, awareness, and sheer quality, and has done so in every match he’s played in, whether it was against a low block v County, high-flying Hearts or middling St Johnstone.
At 94% passing level, he was not only the top starter by a distance, but wasted absolutely nothing – the only missed pass we recall of his entire 90 was an attempt at a through ball that wasn’t quite nailed on and got intercepted, but aside that, faultless.
With 90 touches, no attacker had more of the ball, and any single possession is a ‘touch’ – many of Cantwell’s were careful methodical seeking out of the next pass or move – again, he looked like he had an age to use the ball in.
We recall a moron on the social media channels telling us off for daring to praise him after St Johnstone – we were told in fact to go back to school. Well, the only schooling being done is Cantwell of every opponent he faces.
And with all this gushing praise? We’ve not even mentioned his magical assist, another moment where he had all the time to pick out a pass – but of course, he didn’t, he just looked like he did. Then pin pointed it to Tillman’s head and he did the rest.
Cantwell is already an outstanding talent – he’s what a lot of the misguided souls in our support claimed they were seeing when the utterly awful Aaron Ramsey was disgracing the shirt last season. In Cantwell’s case, we really are seeing a very special player who’s showing easily how good he is.
For Rangers to get this guy for around £2M could be one of the great bargains. He’s already one of the best players in the league and he’s not even remotely up to speed yet.
Long may it continue.