Rangers transfer news: Nico Raskin will react to Ibrox signings amid Chelsea move admission - pundit
Nico Raskin has been backed to up his game at Rangers in response to better players arriving at the club this summer, amid a questioning of his plans to leave for Chelsea.
The Belgian midfielder revealed in an interview with DH les Sports (5 May) that his dream was to play for the Premier League side, and that his Ibrox move was a good “intermediate step”.
Alan Rough believes there’s more still to come from the 22-year-old as Michael Beale adds to his Rangers squad, but Peter Martin doesn’t know why the former Standard Liege player would want to head for the instability currently on display at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking on PLZ Soccer’s The Football Show (22 May, 2m 10s) Martin said: “Raskin’ll be there next season Roughie, and he reckons this is going to be a great stepping stone for him, the Scottish Premiership, because he wants to eventually play for Chelsea.
“Why would you want to play for a club where you really don’t get a chance to get to know the manager because he’s in and out everything three months?
“For a relegation battle?” Tam McManus joked, amid the London side’s awful season.
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“Are you happy with £100,000-a-week?” Rough answered. “Raskin’s another one who looks the part. He’s not going to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. He might just need a wee bit to settle. He obviously looks as if he’s got something in him.
“But I think he’ll be the kind of player who would react to the kind of new players who are coming in. I think if there’s quality players coming in he will respond to who he’s playing with. The time’s still there for him, I don’t think he’s been a failure.”
Raskin certainly hasn’t been a failure since his January arrival, and before Todd Cantwell’s late-season form shot up there was an argument that he was the signing of the season, even including last summer’s business.
That title would probably go to his fellow winter new-comer from Norwich after three goals in as many games as Rangers beat Aberdeen, Celtic and Hibs, but Raskin looks like a solid capture.
He isn’t going to be on Chelsea’s radar yet so he will need to prove he is worth making the next step in a Light Blues jersey first, and lifting some trophies next season would be the right way to start going about it.
If Beale can add further signings this summer that take to life at Ibrox as his first two have then the fight with Celtic should be played out on more of a level playing field.
And if Raskin ultimately does become a target for giants in England after being a big part of success in Scotland then it will be a win-win all round.
The club has now announced who will be leaving the first-team squad, with Scott Arfield, Ryan Kent, Filip Helander, Alfredo Morelos and Allan McGregor all officially exit-bound.
Who arrives to replace them will be key to the short-term future of the club, but those who have already established themselves as important players have an even greater responsibility to pick up the slack first.
In other Rangers news, an Old Firm transfer battle is now on the cards for a target who is proving highly-impressive in front of goal.