Once again Malik Tillman left Rangers fans divided after yet another indifferent performance in a big match as the German-born USA international failed deliver once more on this kind of stage.
Aside a couple of distant-past performances in the Champions League qualifiers (Union Saint and PSV) the Bayern kid has failed to turn up in a single ‘big’ Rangers match, bringing into question his mentality and effort in exchange for a reported £6M.
Domestic-wise the kid hasn’t shone half as much as some supporters want to believe – he’s done particularly well against Hearts and Motherwell, of all sides, but v Aberdeen and Celtic? 8 matches, no goals, and a single assist v Aberdeen in the routine 4-1 at Ibrox earlier this season. He has absolutely not produced against the best in the league.
His overall record this season, for a 20-year-old outside his country for the first time is actually decent, we don’t want to be unfair on him – 12 goals and 5 assists in 42 outings.
But the problem is we don’t ‘have the time’ to ‘let him develop’. We need performers now, not projects, and his attitude of being a bit lazy and letting the big occasions pass him by isn’t endearing him to us either.
He does have talent, but he doesn’t show it on the big occasions.
Again, we hear the ‘but he’s only 20’ line. So what? Are Rangers now a developing lab for other clubs’ talent, and we can just ‘deal’ with the downside when they make mistakes or don’t show up? That’s ok because ‘they’re only young’?
This is not what Rangers need right now – we need MREs all the way, guys immediately prepared for life at Ibrox. Sure, they might need to settle, but we cannot be a laboratory for other clubs’ youth unless it is very, very special.
Tillman is valued at £6M and for that money we would want a player ready to make the kind of impact Cantwell or Raskin have (at a third of the price). Look at the difference these two have made since arriving for a combined total of £4M.
Not someone as divisive and ineffectual as Tillman.
The counter-example is Bassey from Leicester. Technically also youth and took him a season to settle in. But there was a big difference. He was already a permanent signing in the first place and had a full pre-season to settle in the season after he signed. He also MADE himself first choice, earned it, rather than being given it by simply being here.
Tillman has already been given it regardless of earning it. And he’s a loan.
It speaks for itself.