Over the last number of weeks, there has been constant debate amongst the Rangers support regarding the effectiveness of two of Michael Beale’s big money summer signings.
The criticisms of what Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers, or lack of it when it came to yesterday’s match, didn’t slow down in any way as both men failed to make much of an impact on the game as the home side grinded out a late turnaround to defeat Hearts by two goals to one.
Us at Inside Ibrox will talk a lot more in depth about what the future may or may not hold for these two players, however, it is the man who replaced the latter that deserves to have the spotlight shone on him today.
That man was the third of the three forward player that the previous managerial team brought in over the summer in a £15m spending spree – that being Brazilian striker Danilo.
Having come in for around £6m from Feyenoord, much was expected of Danilo right from the off to hit the ground running.
Unfortunately, much like many of the other players Beale signed pre-season, a number of factors didn’t go in his favour. Firstly was the Englishman’s preference for using Dessers as his central striker, and instead of having Danilo playing next to him, he instead mostly shoehorned him out of the wide left for a lot of the early season matches. Either that or cameo type appearances off the bench as Rangers chased the game down.
When the time would come for him to get a start as the main man up top, he would sadly last 20 minutes as, to compile his luck, he would suffer a fractured cheekbone in the process of heading Rangers in front away to St Johnstone.
By the time he was ready to return, Beale was no longer in charge, with Philippe Clement now in the Ibrox hot seat, and the new boss would stress that he had to manage the striker’s game time as he worked his way back up to full match sharpness.
70 minutes in three games may well be a small sample size to work with, but over the course of those matches, the comparisons between him and Dessers appear to be night and day.
Rangers just look to be a far better unit when Danilo is in the side, as shown first against Sparta Prague by the sheer swing in the momentum of that game towards Clement’s side having looked toothless for so much of it.
Then when it comes to this past weekend’s game, he makes the winning goal himself with a terrific bit of movement just inside the box that draws the defender towards the centre of the area before drifting into a yard of space at the back post. From there, he not only meets the ball flush on the head, but controls it into the bottom corner expertly that leaves Hearts keeper Zander Clark with no chance.
I might be in the minority here, but I am not writing Dessers off completely. However, it is clear that he was brought in to play in a role that the team is no longer going to be set up like.
Danilo, however, seems like a striker who could thrive off being that central figure that the rest of the team work around. Not only that, but he appears to really get what it means to pull on the famous Blue and White jersey.
Get him in the starting 11 at the first possible opportunity ticks all the boxes. Not only does it get a proven finisher at the forefront, but it offers the chance to take Dessers out of the firing line and rehab him in a way, and hope that he will be able to turn things around to give the team a better array of options.