£15M Jose Cifuentes is the missing piece of Michael Beale’s Rangers jigsaw

£15M Jose Cifuentes is the missing piece of Michael Beale’s Rangers jigsaw
HARRISON, NEW JERSEY - JUNE 02: Jose Cifuentes #21 of Ecuador looks on against Nigeria at Red Bull Arena on June 02, 2022 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Ibrox Noise regulars will know we’re delighted with Jack Butland in between the sticks, but he’s not the game-changing signing we’re waiting for.

No, that would be Mr Jose Cifuentes, if we can nail him.

As things stand, Michael Beale’s Rangers jigsaw is coming along, and while we have our misgivings about Sam Lammers, overall the picture doesn’t look awful, and indeed is quite strong.

We posited a starting XI already featuring the new signings and the existing ones, with a bit of conjecture in there too, but the big game-changer really is if we can nab the LAFC man.

As things stand, it’s Butland, Tavernier, Souttar, Goldson, Ridvan, Raskin, Cantwell, Lammers, Colak.

Now that’s got a lot going for it, especially if it’s 2019’s Lammers we get. But if we add Cremonese’s Cyriel Dessers it strengthens things up top even more.

And yes, here’s the Cifuentes angle. The Ecuador star is a top, top player, widely regarded as one of the best five players in the whole MLS. With a market value around £15M Rangers can grab him for a fraction of that with his deal expired in 6 months, and suddenly we’d have a whole new complexion.

Butland, Tavernier, Souttar, Goldson, Ridvan, Raskin, Cifuentes, Cantwell, Lammers, Dessers, Colak.

We also have major issues with Goldson, and dearly hope we sign a left-sided centre-back like Jonathan Panzo or the outstanding Auston Trusty instead, but overall?

The picture is cautiously optimistic. We don’t know what system Beale is going for next season, with the exit of Ryan Kent it changes the forward 6 a lot, so we’ll see what the manager builds.

But the picture of the squad is looking tentatively better – less dirge, more quality, and enough about it that it might just pose a problem or two for the other lot in the race for the title next season.

It won’t stop Tav costing us goals, and it won’t stop Goldson making his mistakes, but it’s definitely looking like something we can gently believe in.

And getting Cifuentes would be a massive deal for us, a true game-changer if we can persuade the Ecuadorian his future lies in Govan.

We watch Rangers’ progress with interest.

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  1. I like the look of that team – but if we could also get Josh Maja in on a free it would give us better options. We still have McCrorie, Barisic, King, Devine, Lundstrum, Jack, Hagi, Lawrence, Sakala, Lowry, Rice, Lovelace and Roofe(when fit) on the bench which is a good amount of firepower. The second team is stronger than some of our recent first teams.
    In Beale We trust

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