Are Rangers ready to sign Malik Tillman for £6M?

Are Rangers ready to sign Malik Tillman for £6M?
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 28: Malik Tillman of Rangers celebrates after he scores his team's third goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Motherwell FC at on December 28, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With the question of James Sands’ permanent signing now obviously moot, attention turns to Malik Tillman, who wasn’t recalled by Bayern and as yet remains at Ibrox until his loan expires.

Rangers manager Michael Beale is keen on keeping the German-born America international in Govan, but the £4.5M-£6M price tag may be a spot beyond what the Ibrox giants are willing or indeed able to pay to secure him permanently.

Where does Ibrox Noise stand on this?

Tillman has talent, he certainly has good dribbling skills, some nice touches, a bit of invention, and he has the uncanny knack of scoring with his head.

He does, however, lack guts, loses his way, is lazy, and is short of a yard of pace. He doesn’t frequently ‘own’ football matches.

Now compare that with Todd Cantwell. Yes, he’s a bit older, but he has dominated pretty much every Rangers match he’s played in, and frankly he more or less shares the same position, albeit fractionally deeper.

Malik Tillman is, admittedly, a different player. He isn’t a dominating attacking midfielder, he’s a deep-lying striker (a false 9, really) who scores and assists from an advanced midfield position, but drifts badly out of matches as well and goes into passenger mode a lot.

His stats for the season in his position are decent, no denying it. 10 goals and 5 assists at his age (20) in 38 appearances is a very healthy return for a young attacker in a foreign country, and he’s clearly going to improve and become a more complete player.

But does he actually want to be at Ibrox? His messages have not been unequivocally endorsing the stay, he’s been vague at best and indeed has bigged up the idea of returning to Bayern, given his vocal optimism at knowledge they are watching him.

And that’s ok, there is no harm in wanting to play your football for a team as big as Bayern. But that means he would be settling for us if they’re not interested, and we’d suspect his heart might not be in that too much if he doesn’t get what he wants.

A source close to Tillman told Ibrox Noise that his time at Ibrox was ‘fine’ which was not quite the ringing endorsement we’d hope of his spell with Rangers, and it backed up his own public views that he’s easy oasy on the whole thing.

He wants to be at Bayern, that’s his aim, but then Liverpool was where Ryan Kent wanted and we don’t always get what we want, do we?

Ibrox Noise’s own verdict on Tillman?

Where do we play him, is the big issue. He’s been absent for a while now and we’ve not exactly struggled without him – Fashion Sakala is, admittedly, hit and miss, and we imagine the Zambian might make way for Tillman if there was someone to sacrifice for him, but in reality Cantwell has sown that position up completely and no one is taking it from him.

Putting Tillman in there is top-heavy and we wonder if he’s a luxury player we don’t really need and would have to ‘fit in’?

The only way to really use him would be to put him behind a striker, but then that’s as part of a two, and that’s going into the 3-5-2 territory, which sacrifices a host of attackers.

End of the day, if it was Ibrox Noise’s choice, we’d let him go in the summer – Cantwell is ours and has been unequivocally outstanding, we’re not sure both he and Tillman can truly play in the same team.

But it’s not our choice, so we’ll see what Beale decides.

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