Todd Cantwell looks to be relishing life as a Rangers player. After a man-of-the-match performance against bitter rivals Celtic yesterday, the English winger will hope the thrill of turning out for the Light Blues in front of a packed Ibrox crowd never fades.
He has been in stellar form recently but took his game to new heights in Rangers’ convincing 3-0 Old Firm derby win.
Alongside fellow January signing Nico Raskin, Cantwell ran the show, catalyzing Rangers’ attacking play and hustling Celtic into mistakes when out of possession.
The 24-year-old pressed relentlessly, breaking up the champions’ rhythm before they could get going.
When Rangers had the ball, everything good seemed to flow through him. His off-the-ball movement created space for teammates and pulled Celtic’s defense out of shape.
He took the game to Celtic in a way that has been lacking from Rangers’ key players of late. He seemed determined to grab the Old Firm derby by the scruff of the neck and drag his team to victory.
Cantwell capped a fantastic personal performance by calmly slotting home Rangers’ opening goal. While bouncing balls often prove difficult to control, he concentrated and buried his shot beyond Celtic keeper Joe Hart.
The goal sparked delirium in the stands and set Rangers on their way to a first Old Firm win since April.
At full time, a standing ovation from the Ibrox faithful was the least he deserved. The winger has provided Rangers a burst of energy and desire since arriving in January.
Along with Raskin, his impact suggests Rangers manager Michael Beale has struck gold with his first two signings. More shrewd deals like these could transform Rangers next season.
Todd Cantwell thriving in dream move to Rangers
Against the reigning champions, he was the best player on the pitch. His performance injected freshness into a Rangers side in need of new heroes.
With displays like this, Cantwell seems poised to fill that role and bring success back to Ibrox. An early goal through the Englishman unsettled Celtic and allowed Rangers to pin their opponents back, gaining rewards from set pieces where they exploited a mismatch.
A dream start for Beale’s side and a nightmare for the champions. On this evidence, the tide may be turning in Glasgow’s East End.
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