For the 14th time in a few years, Rangers are making moves on Norwich players, this time, as mentioned earlier, the Canaries’ Kieran Dowell.
Following on from two gigantic failures in Glenn Middleton and Graham Dorrans, success levels hiked from that club as the outstanding Todd Cantwell became a Ger, so Rangers, once-linked with yet another one in Kenny McLean, are now said to be looking at Dowell, a 25-year-old attacking playmaker.
We’ve discussed the implications for Rangers’ existing members in that slot, but let’s talk about Dowell himself, and what qualities the England ex-youth international has to bring to the Ibrox table.
He’s got quite a few youth caps, but the key aspect is that like Cantwell he’s got some Premier League experience. Not as much as the-now Rangers man, who had almost 90 appearances with Norwich, but 21 with the same team.
His career is mainly Championship, but the key area to look at is appearance level given his age being peak playing years in his position: aside 38 appearances for Nottingham Forest in the Championship in 17/18, Dowell has never played more than 26 club appearances in professional football in a single season, which is absolutely not good enough.
It’s patently clear why he’s never made the step up – he’s not good enough. He’s been a benchwarmer for half of his career, and while he has a spot of mild injury history as well, he’s the kind of player we’d sign to put on our bench, to bulk up our squad.
If that’s the target of this signing, to create depth for Todd Cantwell, then we can support that because this player isn’t exactly Kaka. He’s nowhere near Cantwell himself!
His stats are solid – 44 goals and 24 assists in 218 is decent, but it’s decent for a low to midtable Championship team, and is nowhere near good enough for the levels Rangers need to be better than we are.
There is nothing in Dowell to make Rangers a better team, just squad filler.
If this is the standard Rangers seek for first-team going forward, then we’re in trouble.