By Dan Carter

21st Nov, 2023 | 12:40pm

Former coach offers Nicolas Raskin verdict as Belgian will thrive under Rangers pressure

Luka Elsner has suggested that Nicolas Raskin will thrive under the pressure of playing for Rangers, suggesting he plays best when he can feel passion at the club.

The Belgian midfielder joined the ranks at Ibrox under Michael Beale in January and has impressed in his first year in Glasgow, making 30 appearances for the Light Blues, but has barely featured under Philippe Clement due to injury struggles.

However, former Standard Liege manager Elsner who coached Raskin at the Belgian club has suggested that the 22-year-old is the perfect sort of midfielder to be able to thrive in the intense environment often produced in the Scottish Premiership.

As quoted by Rangers Review (21 November) he said: “I think he will thrive in atmospheres and environments where the passion is felt. That’s the advantage of Rangers.

“There is a lot of passion around Standard and this is where he is at his best. He is a guy that needs intensity and quality around him. He can do a lot of things and is well-adapted to the English and Scottish way of playing; with intensity, fast tempo, speed of game.

“He’s good at that when games get heated and there’s a lot of up and down on the field I think he can perform well. That’s what I feel he is as a player.”

Ready for fast tempo

Although he has had his fitness issues this season, Raskin has shown that he is a very able operator in the middle of the park for Rangers and hopefully, when he returns to fitness he can begin to thrive at Ibrox again as predicted by his former coach.

Since Clement arrived in Glasgow, he has improved nearly every player in the Rangers side, with the likes of Danilo, Abdallah Sima and Ross McCausland all hitting heights under the Belgian that they never achieved during Beale’s tenure with Rangers.

That could well be the case for Raskin as well, but he will likely benefit from those playing around now operating at a higher standard. Now that the Light Blues are moving the ball quicker and playing with more intent, it should suit the Belgian’s intense, fast-tempo style.

While he wasn’t able to have a huge influence on the first Old Firm derby of the season, playing the full 90 minutes at Ibrox, he could be crucial in the upcoming clashes with Celtic, with Elsner suggesting that he can be at his best when games have a bit of an edge.

Those matches could be crucial in the hunt for the Scottish Premiership title and a good performance from Raskin at the heart of midfield could be influential to the result.

In other Rangers news, Barry Ferguson has tipped Ross McCausland to sign a new deal at Ibrox amid Premier League links