Light Blues boss Gio van Bronckhorst has confirmed that Rabbi Matondo will not be in the squad to face Livingston this afternoon.
The Welsh international has been ruled out of contention to play, alongside Kemar Roofe, and will now have to wait to make his bow for the club.
On Friday, Rangers quoted the Dutchman as saying: “Roofe is not in the squad for tomorrow, Lowry is back training to pick up fitness. Matondo will miss out tomorrow. Kemar is back on the pitch now so hopefully back involved in the coming weeks.”
The Gers snapped him up from Bundesliga club Schalke 04 for a reported fee of £2m earlier this month and the head coach will be fuming that he will not be able to hand him a full debut on Saturday.
Light Blues chief Ross Wilson said this upon Matondo’s arrival at Ibrox: “We wanted to invest in a wide player this summer and we are excited with what Rabbi will bring to our group, with his speed and his general style of play.
“At 21 years old there’s lots more to come from Rabbi and he will be a strong investment and addition to our group.”
Former Wales manager Ryan Giggs once dubbed Matondo “electrifying” and he has already shown fans what he is capable of with his pace in pre-season matches this month.
He used his pace to burst down the right wing to set up Tom Lawrence against the Hammers and to create the goal against Spurs, showing that he is a direct player who knows how to use his speed to put opportunities on a plate for his team-mates.
This could have been pivotal against Livingston as Rangers look to break them down. Matondo can take his man on the outside and put in a cross for Colak – or any of the supporting attackers – to finish off the chance, while he also carries a goal threat himself.
The Wales international scored nine goals in 23 starts in the Belgian Pro League on loan at Cercle Brugge last season. This shows that he has the quality to score and set up goals, which is why his absence for this match is a huge blow for Van Bronckhorst.
Hopefully other players will be able to step up to the mark and make sure that Matondo’s injury does not cost them any points on the opening day.