Nico Raskin has the potential to be Rangers most complete midfielder for years

Let’s be frank here, it was frustrating back in January when it took what felt like the full of the transfer window for Rangers to complete the signing of Nico Raskin.

A player looking for a move ahead of his last six months of his contract, the turgid approach to getting the Belgian in early summed up Ross Wilson’s time as the Ibrox sporting director.

Having shown interest in Raskin at the beginning of the campaign, it was believed the only thing that stopped him arriving in Glasgow then was the club’s failure to move on Glen Kamara.

So fans had plenty of time of study YouTube videos and various clips online to give understandably excited at 22 year old’s undoubted talent.

And whilst it took him a couple of months to get himself up to match fitness and accustomed to the speed of the Scottish game, the midfielder produced a series of eye catching displays towards the tail end of 2022/23 campaign against the likes of Celtic and Hibernian.

Now, with a full pre-season under Michael Beale under his belt, Nico Raskin looks have taken his form to the next level and shown exactly why he was such an admired talent across Europe.

His early highlights for Rangers came in that Number 6 position where he was the deepest of the midfield three, or sometimes at the base of a diamond.

Unlike the old fashioned holding style midfielder, Raskin showed his quality in taking the ball off of the centre backs deep up the pitch, and have the ability to either find a passing combination out from a tight situation, or drive out with the ball himself and get the ball into the attacking players quickly.

So far this season, especially in Europe, he appears to have been used more in a slightly more advanced position in the middle of park. With his defensive responsibilities reduced a bit, his attacking abilities have been allowed to shine through more.

A bundle of energy, Raskin has proved to be a top tool in a higher intensity pressing game. One great example of this came in Switzerland last week when, after receiving a poorly timed pass from James Tavernier in the middle of the park, he managed to barge one Servette player off the ball, before then being strongest to nip in ahead of another before winning a free kick for Rangers.

In the first half of that game, he was also the most willing of the midfielders to get beyond the strikers, showing he also had the perfect skillset to work as a box-to-box style player.

Add in the fact that he isn’t shy about taking a shot from distance, he arguably has the most complete skillset for a player who plays in that position since perhaps Barry Ferguson, or arguably Steven Davis in his first spell at the club.

Let’s not forget that Nico Raskin is still just 22.

His upside is an easy win-win for Rangers going forward. Either he goes on to help the club regain their dominance over Scottish football for years to come, or he nets the club a massive profit in a year or two in the same way as Calvin Bassey did.

He’s an ambitious professional, as shown by his comments earlier in the year that he dreamed of one day playing for Chelsea.

So let’s clearly enjoy his undoubted ability whilst he is here in Glasgow, because if he keeps progressing as he has in the last six months, then he won’t be here for long.