Diomande has given Rangers’ Cantwell the kick he needs

Diomande has given Rangers’ Cantwell the kick he needs
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Mohammed Diomande is unveiled during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Livingston FC at Ibrox Stadium on February 03, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As hinted earlier, Rangers have very much improved the attacking midfield area.

Prior to Mohamed Diomande’s arrival, Todd Cantwell in particular was having a pretty poor season – a shadow of his 22/23 self, the ex-Norwich man was on a way-way ticket to an Ibrox exit had that form continued.

Indeed, Ibrox Noise was actually rather done with him for our part, having lost patience with his poor displays and lack of interest.

But it left the 10 slot in a quandary – we only really had him or the on-off injured Tom Lawrence as competitive depth for that position, and that was a major issue.

Step up the arrival of Mohamed Diomande.

While the Ivorian isn’t strictly a 10, he can play there, and he offers something a bit different in that area. He is mostly a 6 or 8, an adaptive midfielder who can dribble and find a pass. He’ll take some matches to get up to speed and that’s fine, his not having played much since November, but he’s clearly a high-quality player.

But most tellingly, he’s given Cantwell the rocket up his backside he needed to get himself moving again.

Cantwell has slept since June – he’s barely shown up, but is there any coincidence he’s suddenly a lot brighter the past two or three weeks with the advent of the new signing?

Diomande started in Cantwell’s position, and showed clear quality, while Cantwell himself arrived later on in that match and shone with some good play.

THIS is why you sign players – it’s not just about needing a position filled, it’s about adding quality to your squad and getting more out of the players you have.

The more high standard competition you have in positions, the better the players will be, the more they will raise their games.

There are some who just haven’t – Tavernier, Goldson, Barisic, Raskin… a few of them do seem untouchable, and Yilmaz’ run of form doesn’t seem to have gotten much more out of the Croat, but for the most part, the likes of Diomande and Cortes should see players raise games and Rangers raise level.

We’ve done pretty much nothing but win under Philippe Clement, even when Scott Wright is in the team or Connor Goldson is self-destructing.

Players like Diomande will only help with that.

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