James McFadden was left unimpressed by Cedric Itten’s performance as Rangers won 1-0 against Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday.
Itten, 24, started a second consecutive Premiership match for the first time since joining the Gers due to suspensions for both Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos and an injury to Jermain Defoe.
However, the ex-St Gallen striker failed to have much of an impact in the attack as the Light Blues laboured to a narrow victory over Tommy Wright’s struggling Killie.
Ex-Scotland international McFadden believes Itten’s hold-up play was short of what was required to bring his fellow attackers into play.
“We can look at the striker as well. Itten, if that’s Roofe or Morelos, I feel that ball is held in or it’s a proper flick down the corner,” McFadden said on BBC Sportscene on Saturday night.
“And again, it comes up to Itten. He’s got to hold it in. You can’t get up the pitch if your striker can’t hold the ball up.
“He keeps fighting and tries to get it back but the touch needs to be tighter to allow Hagi, Kent and Aribo [to play off him].”
Itten – good enough for Rangers?
We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly regarding Itten this season and his performance against Kilmarnock falls somewhere between and and ugly.
The Switzerland international seemed way off the pace and Rangers’ struggles to get through the Kilmarnock defence were largely down to that.
If Roofe or Morelos was spearheading the attack then you know that players like Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi would have been far more involved as they’d use one of those strikers as a point to play off of. However, with Itten, he seemed to lose the ball so often.
According to stats by Wyscout, Itten lost possession 19 times against Kilmarnock and on six of those occasions, he lost the ball in his own half.
Itten also managed just one shot at goal but it generated a low xG of 0.1, meaning it wasn’t even a half-chance really.
The Swiss forward also had just three touches inside the penalty area, was caught offside three times and didn’t make any key passes.
We don’t want to talk players down too much in what has been a sensational season for Rangers but we’re getting the feeling that Itten is way down the pecking order for a reason.
He’s simply nowhere near as good as the other strikers Steven Gerrard has in his squad.
In other Rangers news, fans blasted this one Gers player’s performance despite the win against Kilmarnock.