If there was one moment today which summed up how exceptional a player Todd Cantwell already has been for Rangers, it was that assist for Scotty. Barely looking, with zero effort, he gloriously found Arfield in tonnes of space, himself surrounded by a horde of Raith men, freeing up the former Canada man to finish it off.
Cantwell looks like the best player Rangers have brought to Ibrox maybe in decades, with a talent like this in midfield not seen since the days of Barry Ferguson.
Yes, it’s early days, and yes, let’s try not to get hysterical, but it’s plain to see for anyone who has even a fragment of football knowledge that this boy can play, and Norwich’s loss is infinitely our gain.
His vision is incredible, his passing unreal, his composure magnificent, his power, underestimated, and while ‘it was only Raith’, they weren’t interested in playing football, in fact being happy to foul each other in order to stop Rangers.
But it didn’t stop Cantwell.
His assist, for Scotty, as mentioned was sumptuous, and he nearly managed one for Tavernier too but for a good stop from MacDonald, and in general it’s hard to actually find a fault with this lad’s game.
This was absolutely magnificent scouting, and while we’re trying so hard to stay grounded, Cantwell is making it very difficult indeed. He’s a Norwich boy at heart, a fan of the Canaries and that was where he wanted to be. But it derailed – when Villa made the move for him, Norwich demanded £50M, and the deal didn’t happen. Thereafter, the lad’s heart wasn’t in it – a Norwich boy, but he wanted the bigger team in the Premier League.
Of course, his perfect answer was Norwich in the Premier League but that isn’t the case any more and probably won’t be next season either.
So with that falling to pieces, Cantwell had to move on – and it’s Rangers benefiting from it.
Does the lad just look better because it’s the Scottish Premiership? Well, that could be levied at any player who thrives in our league, meaning the same for the lot across the city.
But Cantwell is an experienced Premier League player let’s not forget, he’s played at that level and been absolutely fine in it too. So we do think there’s a bit about him and his continued outstanding performances will just make Michael Beale further kick himself he didn’t take the risk at Hampden.
We rated his performance today a 10 – we couldn’t see a fault with it. We gave three men that score v Hibs – Colak, Sakala and Jack. We gave Cantwell 9 that match. Two of them were miles off that today, and one wasn’t even playing. Cantwell? He just gets better.
Not a bad use of £1.75M.