Rangers star Nicolas Raskin claims his “ultimate dream” is to play for Chelsea in the Premier League; and his showing against Servette proves he’s on track to achieve it.
The 22-year-old Belgian midfielder once again stood up to take the game by the scruff of the neck in the Champions League QR3 tie and is fast becoming Rangers’ tiger-like midfield dynamo.
An energetic, relentless midfield presence, Nicolas Raskin has huge positioning intelligence and an increasing impetus to move the ball forward and with intent.
Playing in that number six role, there are shades of a young Barry Ferguson in the midfielder’s combative yet technical style and Rangers fans are increasingly excited about the kid.
That’s even if Nicolas Raskin struggled in the first half against Servette and even if there are still clearly elements of the player’s game to improve on.
All it will take is a couple of goals for the former Standard Liege man to start emerging as a key force in the Rangers team and watch this space as Raskin continues to arrive late at the edge of the box and take constructive pops at goal.
But Rangers fans know that, with Nicolas Raskin himself having previously pointed towards Chelsea and the Premier League, that anyone who proves themselves in Scotland will be eyed up down south.
Not that the top teams south of the border and in Europe won’t be aware of what Nicolas Raskin can offer already; Barcelona, Napoli and Marseille were all mentioned during his time in Belgium.
The move was also branded a “clever signing” by former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, with U21 star Nicolas Raskin signposted as a future international with the top team.
If Nicolas Raskin continues in his promising start at Rangers, that dream of playing for the likes of Chelsea will surely get closer and Ibrox supporters might have to just enjoy the midfielder whilst he’s here.
As for now, the Premier League giants are well-stocked in midfield having just spent £115m on Ecuador star Moises Caicedo and having had a £53m offer accepted for Romeo Lavia, much to Liverpool’s despair.
But as Rangers hope to see Nicolas Raskin deliver for the club on the park, the financial cushion that these kind of fees offer might help soothe the notion that we could be saying goodbye before too long.
PSV issue Rangers Champions League revenge warning
The Dutch giants sent out a battle cry in the wake of discovering their Champions League play-off opponents last night.
The sides met at the exact same stage of European qualifying last season, with the Light Blues prevailing under the stewardship of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Antonio Colak’s goal sealed the game at the Phillips Stadion last August, which saw the Light Blues through to the group stages of the competition for the first time in 12 years. They also banked a whopping £40million.
And the Eredivisie club has wasted little time in setting their targets for the upcoming two-legged tie.
Looking to settle the score with Rangers, PSV’s official club account tweeted last night: “Time for revenge.”
They defeated Sturm Graz to set up the play-off with the Gers, while Michael Beale’s team got past Servette.
Peter Bosz is now the boss of PSV, with Ruud Van Nistelrooy losing his job after last year’s qualifier defeat.
They already had one foot in the play-off round after a 4-1 win over Sturm Graz in the first leg of their third-round tie.
The game eventually finished 7-2 on aggregate after the return leg in Austria.
Rangers won their tie 3-2 on aggregate in a far less convincing manner. James Tavernier secured a 1-1 draw on the night in Switzerland.
Beale’s team host Morton in the last-16 of the Viaplay Cup on Saturday ahead of the first leg, with a game against Ross County in the Highlands in between that game and the return leg.
PSV head to Vitesse Arnhem before Ibrox, then it’s at home to Go Ahead Eagles before welcoming Rangers back to Eindhoven.