Rangers manager Philippe Clement has explained why it ‘didn’t work out’ for new signing Oscar Cortes at Lens, and it’s very much a backhanded compliment to Rangers’ new Colombian winger.
Speaking pre-Livingston, the boss explained that Lens don’t play with wingers, pure and simply, and this gave the attacker no room to breathe at the Estadio Bollaert-Delelis, meaning he was mostly on the bench. Yet despite this, he still managed a 50% goal contribution ratio of his 10 appearances for Les Sang et Or despite barely playing and not being used as a proper winger.
Clement said on this:
“He had a different playing style there than what he was used to because he’s more a winger and they played a system without wingers. So that was for sure for a new player not an easy thing to cope with, to do it in another position and doing other things than you’re used to doing…”
This is a very interesting comment.
First of all, it does indeed explain why a very promising player in the form of the young Colombian didn’t thrive well at Lens, even though his numbers were actually good in the few matches and appearances he did get.
But also intriguing is the ‘Todd Cantwell’ factor.
This could be evidence Clement isn’t Cantwell’s biggest fan – he took Cantwell off against Aris inside half an hour, with Cantwell doing the very thing Clement was a lot more forgiving of Cortes of – not doing the things he’s used to.
Now, as we remember, Cantwell was played wide right in that one, and struggled hugely, kept coming in central and looking a bit lost.
He basically couldn’t play the slot, and Clement hooked him quickly, with a lot of scathing remarks about it and the former Norwich star far from happy. Clement wasn’t overly positive in the press about the playmaker from that one.
Fans defended the manager, slating Cantwell for not doing what he was told on the pitch, and how Clement was bang on to remove him, but Clement himself is infinitely more supportive of Cortes who also struggled pretty much in the same way at Lens.
Cantwell, of course, has been very poor this season, and we do wonder if new man Diomande is going to get that slot more…
But back to Cortes, and how being out of position at Lens didn’t help him.
Well, we got him as a winger, and boy was that what we needed.