Cyriel Dessers’ Ibrox critics will hate new Rangers stats

Cyriel Dessers’ Ibrox critics will hate new Rangers stats
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 21: Cyriel Dessers of Rangers applauds the fans after the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Rangers and Hearts at Hampden Park on April 21, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yes, another article on Cyriel Dessers to the pleasure of his backers and frustration of his (many) critics, the Nigerian striker’s double in the semi-final has restored him to the forefront of conversation again.

With that double, Dessers became Rangers’ top-scorer in a single season for two decades behind just five men:

Alfredo Morelos, Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Nacho Novo and Dado Prso.

He is now more prolific even than Ibrox Noise’s darling son Antonio Colak, better than Nikica Jelavic, better than Jemain Defoe and even more so than the highly-clinical Kemar Roofe.

It could be easily argued that Colak, Defoe and Roofe are the most naturally-gifted strikers we’ve had for decades, and the Nigerian now beats them all over any single season.

What he’s achieved might not be astronomical, but have Rangers ever had a more maligned striker who actually delivered such excellent numbers?

Indeed, Dessers has now nearly matched Lawrence Shankland for shots on target this season (42 to 45) but is astronomically more efficient overall with just 25 off target to the Hearts captain’s 45.

Of course, for pure league goals Dessers is off the pace. 13 is good but Shankland leads the way with 21.

But the big deal isn’t what Dessers is doing compared with other teams’ players, it’s what he’s doing against the standards set by predecessors.

It’s interesting that since 2004, only Miller, Boyd, Novo and Prso are better than Dessers – that in pre-2012 era, only four strikers of Walter Smith Rangers Standard calibre actually exceed Dessers, over the course of any one season.

Post 2012 only Morelos is stronger than Dessers with a stonking 42 goals and assists in 18/19 in 48 appearances. 30 goals. Dessers is at 19 goals with two months of the season still to go, inc a Scottish cup final.

And yet, however much you yell the facts till you’re blue in the face, his detractors aren’t listening.

Are we at Ibrox Noise his biggest fans? Probably looks it doesn’t it? No, we’re not, give us Colak any day.

But we do only have interest in factual analysis, and when the bare bones of the truth are exposed, Dessers is the second-best post-2012 striker we’ve had, and the 6th best overall since 2004.

Is he Super Ally? Maybe not, but he definitely does a lot more for Rangers than his biggest critics want to admit.

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