Nicolas Raskin must live up to Rangers hype after former manager speaks out
It has been a tough start to the season for Nicolas Raskin, with the Rangers star struggling with on-and-off fitness issues throughout the opening months of the campaign.
Under the management of both Michael Beale and Philippe Clement, the 22-year-old has only managed eight Scottish Premiership appearances this season, missing four league matches with injury and hasn’t played since October.
But the Belgian is closing in on a return to action, with Clement confirming that Raksin should be back fit at Ibrox after the November international break, but he will be making that return with some pressure on his shoulders following comments from a former coach.
Former Standard Liege boss Luka Elsner has spoken highly about the midfielder to the Rangers Review (21 November) suggesting that Raskin has the skills to thrive in Glasgow and reach new heights with the Light Blues.
Elsner 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’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.”
So far this season, Raskin, like many of the Rangers players has failed to deliver in the biggest matches. Against Celtic, the Belgian only won three of his seven duels in the match and didn’t win a single tackle as the Hoops’ midfield ran riot at Ibrox [Fotmob].
In the 5-1 demolition from PSV in Champions League qualifying days before, the 22-year-old was substituted after 60 minutes and while he won his only tackle and came away with the ball in five of his seven duels, he was instead sloppy in possession.
The Rangers midfielder only completed 12 passes in 17 attempts in an embarrassing evening for Beale’s side. Raskin gets away with this display slightly because of the team’s general chaotic state under Beale’s management.
Between now and the new year, the Light Blues have some season-defining matches, including an Old Firm derby on the 30 December and the Viaplay Cup final clash with Aberdeen. Wins in these two matches will see Clement lift silverware only months after arriving in Glasgow and would ensure the title race remains wide open.
Raskin needs to show that he can rise to these major occasions as his former coach has tipped him to, otherwise, he may not be cut out for life at Ibrox, let alone the future move to the Premier League that he has been vocal about
Having had a year to settle into his surroundings in Glasgow, it’s time Rangers supporters saw the best version of Raskin more often at the heart of Clement’s midfield.