There is no doubt Kemar Roofe was making a big statement at Dingwall – having been excluded from the Champions League squad, he will play no part in Holland as he didn’t at Ibrox, and he was determined to show why he’s a serious contender again to be part of the Rangers regime going forward.
He managed that with aplomb and we’re absolutely delighted for him.
But Rabbi Matondo IS in that squad for midweek – of course not only did he shine at Dingwall, he scored v PSV with yet more evidence that he’s a man reborn.
And in a nod to our earlier piece noting the difficulties our expensive forward line are having integrating, Matondo has stolen the show a couple of times from them.
Rabbi Matondo will be a serious shout to start in Eindhoven and he’s done nothing but impress this season – his energy, pace, goals, assists – they’re everything we wanted from him last season, but it’s clearly taken him 12 months to settle, and if he’s even putting a European heavyweight like PSV in their place then it shows the turnaround from the guy who couldn’t even impress v St Mirren last season.
There’s a reason Rabbi Matondo cost Schalke money, reason he joined a big Bundesliga side for £9M. Schalke saw a tonne of quality in the-then Man City youth product, and that’s not a rubbish academy, trust me.
It just didn’t work out in Germany, for whatever reason, and we seemed to be seeing those very reasons last season at Ibrox.
But now? What’s the secret? For unknown reasons Matondo just couldn’t settle in Germany – be it the culture, the style, the language – he gave it a very good shot of two and a half years but then the loans started.
But this is the first club, since he joined Schalke, he’s remained at for more than one year. And clearly the language and culture is much more like what he’s used to from his Man City and Stoke years.
And it’s taken the boy a good 12 months to settle, but suddenly he’s literally one of Rangers’ most on-form players.
And it’s not just ‘sand dancing’ – he’s assisting and scoring too, and his stats are very good.
Time is all it’s taken – one full year and Rabbi Matondo is probably Rangers’ most in-form forward.
Not one we expected to be saying last summer!