There’s a bit in the press at the moment about Ecuador’s Jose Cifuentes. The former LA FC midfielder’s arrival in Govan was heralded as a huge signing, a major coup, including by Ibrox Noise, given his impressive CV.
Just 24, already a regular for his country, and a market value of well over £10M meant that this powerhouse engine room man was a major signature to secure, and much was expected of him once at Ibrox.
Only, it just hasn’t happened yet.
Yes, on a few fleeting appearances his quality was clearly in evidence. Strong, superb passer, good vision, Cifuentes is/was clearly a ‘baller’ and was set to take the SPL by storm, but for one reason or another, he’s made no impression and it’s felt like he’s not really played.
Now it’s worth mentioning he has made 15 appearances, so it’s not factual to say he actually hasn’t played, and 10 of those were starts.
But injury and the degradation of Michael Beale’s Rangers definitely counted against Cifuentes and he’s been a fringe player.
Some things are being made of his social media, that he’s hardly put up anything of Rangers since joining – he made a big Rangers story on the unveiling and then put up a post thanking God for the move to Rangers, and it’s true, there’s not much overall.
But there’s only two posts of his national team as well, and the boy generally just isn’t that active on social media. So that one is a mountain out of a molehill.
Also, he’s just not had any ‘moments’ yet as a Rangers player – Cifuentes is yet to make a memory or two of his time in Govan, and that will come in time. And we’re sure they’ll proudly make their way onto his Instasnap or whatever.
He also has the slightly bad luck of being a very very similar player to John Lundstram who is currently bang in form and first choice under Philippe Clement.
And that’s the end game. Cifuentes will get his chances when he is ready, and when Clement deems it time.
Rangers’ depth in midfield isn’t good enough – Lunny, Jack and Cifu is all we have for the central berths, and Cifu has struggled a bit with injury the past 6 weeks. He’s had another one on international duty as well just to add to his bad luck.
But anyone who thinks he isn’t good enough probably thinks Lampard is…
Cifuentes is a great player, just needs time to settle, and to reset a bit. And get injury free.
In time his true value will shine through.