Not that you’d know it, but Glasgow Rangers may have a few problems at the club right now.
Firstly, Alfredo Morelos’ form is patchy at best and they’re badly missing Kemar Roofe, who hasn’t featured for Steven Gerrard’s side since he suffered an injury in the Old Firm clash with Celtic at the start of the month.
Second of all, they missed a genuine opportunity to extend their 21-point lead over Celtic after they were forced to settle for a draw against Motherwell on Sunday afternoon.
Alfredo Morelos arguably produced one of his worst performances at Fir Park after the Colombia centre-forward looked increasingly out of sorts as he struggled to cope with the intensity and pace of the game, having completed just 18 passes, which was the third-lowest out of every Rangers player who started the game.
Given the fact he has failed to score since the 2-1 win at Aberdeen, you could certainly make the case for him to be dropped from the starting line-up. With that in mind, we reckon Cedric Itten could be the man to come in and make an impact in the middle of the park against Ross County.
Apart from Borna Barisic, Itten ultimately proved to be the only real saving grace for Gerrard. The Switzerland international came off the bench to rescue a point for the Scottish Premiership leaders and spare Gerrard’s blushes in the process.
He just loves a goal against Graham Alexander’s side, doesn’t he? Itten met a cross from Barisic with a well-timed header to score against Well for the fourth time this season.
It’s the kind of performance Rangers fans have come to expect from the 24-year-old, however, as his powerful header prevented his side from suffering their first defeat in the Premiership this season, with the visitors maintaining their standing at the top of the table.
Unlike Morelos, it’s fair to say that Itten is a player who has already started to exercise a tremendous amount of patience and control during his short stint with the 54-time Scottish champions.
Standing at 6 ft 2 in tall, he may not look like the typical ‘super-sub’ – if there is such a thing – but his record speaks for itself. 4 goals and an assist in 17 substitute appearances is a pretty decent return, considering he has only played 728′ minutes of football this season, via Transfermarkt.
However, since he signed on the dotted line last year, he has started just twice in the SPFL, which is rather surprising for a player of his obvious potential.
Gerrard has been using him off the bench effectively since the start of the season but perhaps he should take the opportunity to rest key players like Morelos, Connor Goldson and James Tavernier at home to the tenth-placed Staggies.
Last season, Itten scored 20 clubs goals in 36 appearances for St Gallen in Switzerland, which should give you an idea of the cutting edge he could give the Gers if he starts the game against the Staggies.
At the moment, you could argue that he is being wasted, especially when you consider the fact that Gerrard clearly rates him so highly. After the 3-1 comeback victory over Well last year, Gerrard said: “I thought Ceddy was outstanding, Ianis [Hagi] and Joe Aribo [too]. I’m really pleased with the character we’ve shown over the course of the 90 minutes.
“Ceddy does what he does. He’s a bit of a pest, he’s a bit of a nuisance, he chases lost causes.
“It was a fantastic header at the back post to put us in front and a lot of people would give up then and think the game is won but Ceddy keeps going and I’m sure the fans will really appreciate the effort he gave today.”
He needs to given a lot more game time by the manager and should be unleashed against Ross County at Ibrox on Saturday.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers must swoop for Siriki Dembele after his latest masterclass…